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Cool Things Others Have Done

Published: July 11, 2012

One of the strengths of the Refugee Housing Program is the quality of its partners across the country. We have gathered here some of the approaches and great resources others have developed to address common challenges in refugee housing. For more promising practices order or download a copy of “At Home with Refugee Housing: Resettlement to Integration.” If you know about a housing practice that is working well in your community, contact us and let us know about it so we can showcase it here.


Catholic Charities of St. Paul, Minnesota has put together a very complete renter's orientation program. The orientation takes four hours and covers issues such as housing terms, a renter's resume, how to create a nontraditional credit history, and much more.

We have made this information available in a Word file for your use. Thanks to Catholic Charities of St. Paul for making this available!

Go to St. Paul Housing Workshop for the version in Somali in a Word DOC or PDF.


Charlottesville, Virginia. The IRC affiliate approached the local Rotary Club and received a $10,000 donation to set up a revolving security deposit fund. The fund is used to pay security deposits for newly-arriving refugees. In addition, the agency has convinced landlords to repay the security deposit to the agency – as opposed to giving it back to the tenant – so the fund is not depleted.


When Mohammed Al-Sharmani took the position to work as the adjustment coordinator at the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix, Arizona, he regularly visited clients in their homes. During these home visits, the adjustment coordinator noticed many families were not keeping up on healthy housekeeping habits—including food safety and pest control practices—despite the fact that case managers covered basic housekeeping in a general housing orientation. Because of these housekeeping challenges, bedbugs and other pests were becoming a problem and refugee tenants were losing their security deposits.

Read this promising practice to see how one resettlement agency conducts its hands-on housekeeping orientation sessions, how to get 100% attendance from refugee families, how to partner with property management to support programs on-site, and more.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement also funds technical assistance in a number of other areas. Find out about other organizations providing T.A. in areas such as ESL, health and mental health and child and youth wellbeing.

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