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2015 Holiday Appeal - Beyond Syria
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Since last summer all of the United States witnessed the mass migration of Syrian refugees fleeing their brutal civil war. This exodus left many wondering what were the implications for refugee resettlement in the US: http://goo.gl/vbB8GH
2015 Holiday Appeal - Survivor Support Services
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Although Domestic Violence occurs at the same rate across all communities. The murder rate is significantly higher among immigrant and refugee women because of the barriers they face in seeking freedom. Read the latest installment of our 2015 Holiday Appeal: http://goo.gl/l7Uho9

2015 Holiday Appeal - Cultural Calendar
Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Whether the Chopin Singing Society, Korean Dancers, Ugandan drummers, or the Karen Wrist Tying festival, IIB has been home to newcomer celebrations for more than a century.

2015 Holiday Appeal - Akili's Story
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Akili and his wife Reny fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2008. After a 1,300 mile journey and six years in a refugee camp, they're building a new life in Buffalo: http://goo.gl/EfYNms

More News>>

Renting to Refugees

If you own safe, affordable housing units in the Buffalo area, please consider renting to refugees. In doing so, you will be partnering with the International Institute of Buffalo to help legal immigrants who have fled war and persecution in their native lands and wish to establish a new life in America. For more information on our general services to refugees, click here.

All rental agreements are between the landlord and the client, with assistance from the International Institute as outlined below.

Who are refugees?

Refugees are people living outside of their country of origin who cannot return to that country for fear of persecution or death for ethnic, religious or political reasons. The refugee populations resettled in Western New York change based on the political situations in countries and regions around the world. Currently, the International Institute is resettling refugees from Burma, Bhutan, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia. For more on refugees and their path to Buffalo, click here to return to our main Refugee Resettlement page.

Approximately 20% of our refugee clients speak English upon their arrival in the U.S. Clients understand that the key to success in America is continued improvement of their English skills. All clients are referred to appropriate English classes and/or employment training programs.


IIB runs a successful employment program that prepares refugees ages 18-65 for work, places them in jobs, and follows up to ensure retention. Our goal is economic self sufficiency for our clients. Back to top

Are refugees legally able to live and work in the U.S.?

YES! Each of our refugee clients has entered the country legally and receives immediate work authorization. Prior to their arrival, refugees have been granted "refugee status" by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the U.S. State Department and have received security clearance from the FBI. Back to top

What do we look for in partnering with a landlord?

1. Safe housing

  • Compliance with safety standards (locks, smoke detectors, etc.)
  • Gas, electric and water up-to-code and working
  • Lead free or freshly painted interiors
  • No drug or other illegal activity in the building
  • No pest or rodent problems

2. Affordable housing

  • Rent must be affordable for our clients
  • 1-2 bedroom - $500-600 a month
  • 2-3 bedroom - $600-700 a month
  • Month-to-month lease, preferably with no security deposit or paid in installments

3. Repairs

  • We need an emergency contact number for each landlord
  • Repairs need to be make in a timely manner

4. Miscellaneous

  • Appliances need to be provided
  • Apartment should be habitable and sanitary at the time of occupancy Back to top

What can a landlord expect from the International Institute of Buffalo?

  • On behalf of our client, we will pay the first months rent and security deposit at the time of occupancy
  • We will orient our clients on the responsibilities of a good tenant
  • We will arrange, as needed, all utility services on behalf of the client
  • Clients will be provided with an income from one of two sources. The International Institute will notify the landlord of this source within 40 days of occupancy
    • For clients whose income is subsidized by the Institute, we will pay their rent for at least the first 3 months following arrival, during which time we work with the client to obtain employment
    • For clients on public assistance, we can arrange, on the client's behalf, voucher payment through the welfare system
  • For the first 3-6 months, we will work directly with the landlords and clients to resolve any misunderstandings
  • After 6 months, we can still be contacted to arrange for interpreters or to mediate if necessary
  • We work with a pool of interpreters and ethnic community leaders to assist landlords in working with our clients Back to top

What does our client housing orientation program teach?

  • How to clean and maintain an apartment (washing floors, using garbage disposals, etc.)
  • Garbage removal
  • Maintaining a pest/vermin-free home
  • Landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities
  • Energy conservation
  • Fire safety
  • Being a good neighbor
    • Keeping noise levels to a minimum
    • Looking out for crime
    • Not leaving children unattendend Back to top

Contact Michael McQuade, Housing Coordinator if you have an apartment available or would like more information

  (716) 883-1900  

Back to top

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"God bless America. She take care of me."
-Somali refugee Ahmed Hassan, The Buffalo News

The mission of the International Institute of Buffalo is to assist immigrants, refugees, their families, and others who face linguistic and cultural barriers to become self-sufficient, productive members of our community, and to increase global understanding and international connections in Western New York.
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