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
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
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