Refugees receive their social security cards soon after arrival, along with photo identification. All have access to government identification in the form of an I-94, issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizen & Immigration Services.
Although newcomers don’t have credit history in the U.S., local resettlement offices provide promissory notes detailing the financial assistance provided.
Local resettlement staff are present to walk families through the rental process, provide interpretation, and act as support to the landlord and their new tenants.
Newcomers are eligible for a myriad of programs, including employment programs, community building programs, and extended services.
BACKGROUND AND CREDIT CHECKS
These newcomers are some of the most vetted people in the U.S. They go through extensive interviewing and fingerprinting by various stakeholders, including USCIS and UNHCR, prior to arriving in the U.S.
Due to their newness in the country, they do not have a U.S. credit history. However, promissory notes can be issued by local offices.
SERVICES AND NEEDS
Newcomers receive case management, employment assistance, and financial assistance through the local resettlement office. All clients have access to these services for a minimum of 30 days and up to five years. One of the core services provided to newcomers is securing safe and sanitary housing upon arrival.
Local resettlement sites provide newcomers with:
- Lease overview: provides a clear explanation in client’s native language of the terms and expectation of the lease
- Coaching on communication with the landlord: how to make maintenance requests, pay rent, give notice, etc.
- Housing setup: sites provide clients with furniture and other essential household items
- Housing orientation on home safety, emergency procedures, and house/property upkeep
- Assist families to set up any utilities in their name and provide orientation on how to pay those bills
- Ongoing staff interaction with landlord if any issues or miscommunications arise
All clients who are served through resettlement programs (Reception and Placement and the Afghan Placement and Assistance programs) receive resettlement grants of $1,025 per person, additional direct assistance funds, and Emergency Rental Assistance. Local staff may provide you with a detailed summary of the financial assistance available to a potential tenant.