- Community Sponsors
- Landlords/Property Managers
- Volunteers/Community Members
- Housing Advocacy & Policy
- Housing Toolkit & Navigating Housing Resources
- Refugee Resettlement in the United States
- Renting to Refugees
Housing Initiatives for Ukrainian Newcomers
Learn about ways to access affordable and safe housing for Ukrainian newcomers.
Uniting for Ukraine Overview
Uniting for Ukraine provides a pathway for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States to come to the United States and stay temporarily for a two-year period of parole. Ukrainians participating in Uniting for Ukraine must have a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their stay in the United States.
The first step in the Uniting for Ukraine process is for the U.S.-based supporter to file a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with USCIS. The U.S. government will then vet the supporter to ensure that they are able to financially support the individual whom they agree to support. Legislation signed by President Biden on May 21, 2022, also allows beneficiaries to apply for federal public benefits, such as Medicaid, and for programs and services funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. For more information on Uniting for Ukraine, see the DHS webpage and Welcome.US FAQs. Click here to read more about the benefits that Ukrainian are eligible for after they arrive in the U.S.
Tips for Securing Housing
For Ukrainian Newcomers
You can find temporary and permanent units on the housing search platforms below:
Housing should be safe, sanitary, affordable, and preferably near shopping centers, employment, schools, and accessible by public transportation. Landlords generally place their ads one to two months before they want a prospective tenant to move into their property. Research affordable apartment buildings and ask about availability, unit sizes, and lease agreement details.
Get in Touch with Resettlement Agencies
Resettlement agencies provide services to newcomers, including assistance with finding housing, employment, medical, and mental health services, and access to any other service or information you need to get settled in the first few months. A regional agencies directory can be found here.
For Community Sponsors
If you are sponsoring a Ukrainian refugee family, you are responsible for locating safe and appropriate housing for newcomers. Finding short-term options are necessary, as newcomers will need to be present in the U.S. to sign a lease. Temporary housing options can include:
- Hotels (with accessible kitchenette)
- Airbnb stays
- Separate living space attached to a private home
- Hosting within the sponsor’s home
Other options include using your local network and resources, working with a local real estate agent, and contacting local housing authorities as they will likely have contacts with landlords — especially those that provide low-income housing. Landlords need to understand your role as a sponsor and your planned support to the newcomer. Questions for landlords should confirm:
- Average monthly rent
- Maximum unit occupancy
- Security deposit and associated utilities
- Terms for return of security deposit
- Co-signer requirements (if applicable)
- When/if co-signer can be removed from lease
- Break lease clause and associated penalties for early lease termination
- Possibility of shorter-term lease or month-to-month options
- Who is responsible for routine maintenance and repairs
Locating affordable housing is the most challenging part of the resettlement process. If you need public housing assistance or want specific information about public housing programs such as housing choice vouchers, this link will connect you to your local public housing agency. It is important to find housing that a newcomer family can afford, even after you are no longer supporting them. It is also essential for community sponsors and volunteers to understand local and federal housing laws when arranging housing for a client. Affiliates are subject to the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and are responsible for ensuring that housing selections are not made on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin.
Refugee Housing Solutions
Refugee Housing Solutions (RHS) provides technical housing support to resettlement practitioners, landlords and property managers, community sponsors, and Ukrainian newcomers across the United States and partners with them to develop and implement cohesive strategies to increase the availability and affordability of housing.
RHS works closely with resettlement practitioners and key stakeholders both nationally and locally to identify priority areas to innovate and expand affordable housing solutions across the United States.
How does RHS support Ukrainian Newcomers, Landlords, and Property Managers?
Refugee Housing Solutions (RHS) supports the resettlement and integration of Ukrainians through Technical Assistance nationwide, creating innovative and affordable housing solutions with project coordination and technical housing support. RHS creates curriculum and materials for newcomers on housing in the U.S. We are associated with the 10 State Department affiliated Resettlement Agencies, and can connect Ukrainian newcomers with support locally or virtually.
RHS has a myriad of online resources, educational materials, webinars, and trainings targeted towards landlords and property managers. We provide one-on-one Technical Assistance to landlords and property managers interested in renting to newcomers, or who currently rent to newcomer tenants. We have a wide network of stakeholders, such as government branches, landlords, property managers, and resettlement agencies that can answer questions of interested partners.
Learn more about Refugee Housing Solutions, view resources, and request training or technical assistance by visiting the RHS website: www.refugeehousing.org
Additional Housing Resources
- Switchboard for Refugee Service Providers in the United States
- Housing in the United States Poster (CORE)
- COVID-19 Information and Resources
- Public Housing Authorities Contact Information
- Emergency Housing Vouchers Information
- Landlord Engagement: Reset your Community’s Critical Partnerships During COVID Response
The Preferred Communities program is funded by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.