Settlement Guide

Settlement Guide: top 5 barriers for refugees seeking housing

Source: iDuke CC BY-SA 2.5

Refugee communities in Australia say finding affordable and adequate housing is one of their top concerns. Data gathered from Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) annual national community consultations also found refugees other key concerns relate to family reunion and finding sustainable employment.

1. Lack of rental history and knowledge of the rental market

Houses for sale and lease are advertised in the window of a real estate agent at Bondi in Sydney, Friday, April 24, 2009. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy) NO ARCHIVING

2. Language barriers

New refugees

3. Limited number of affordable rental properties

Affordable housing
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4. The financial burden of the high cost of housing on people on low incomes and Centrelink


5. Discrimination faced by larger families and people living with disabilities

Man in wheelchair

Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) research highlights the challenges newly arrived refugees have in finding housing, with a lack of rental history in Australia and language barriers being significant obstacles when competing for a limited number of affordable rental properties.

The RCOA emphasises the importance of support and advice to newly-arrived refugees who have a limited understanding of rental processes or their rights as tenants or the expectations of landlords.

The RCOA’s annual submissions on the Refugee and Humanitarian Program can be viewed: