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Refugees and refugee nonprofits hit hard by affordable housing crisis

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 5:47 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The hot housing market is impacting more than just home buyers and renters.

Refugees and nonprofits that support refugees are struggling to find affordable housing after relocating to Tucson.

Randiesia Fletcher, co-director of the Refugee Resource Center, says they are doing everything they can to keep people in homes and off the streets.

“We’ve even gone the distance to say, ‘hey, can this person stay in your room for a few days?’ we’ve done that in our own home and other people that we know have helped with that as well,” she said

Their resources are stretched thin. Hundreds of Afghan refugees are settling in Tucson, and the nonprofit is preparing for the possibility of Ukrainian refugees relocating to Tucson as well.

“We prepare just by being proactive on things. We want to make sure we have a few housing stations available for them. We look for ways that we can get their transcripts translated quickly. We have all of our people on deck,” she said.

One of their biggest obstacles right now is finding affordable housing.

“We’ve been seeing price hikes. A lot of times we notice, when refugees are settled here, they’re settled in sub-standard housing. It’s the housing that’s available, but a lot times there’s pestilence, items that aren’t fixed, you know, the smoke detector may be disabled, refrigerator may be broken,” she explained.

Fletcher says the Refugee Resource Center advocates for the refugees to fix any problems with their current housing. She looks for other places for them to go, but it’s been a real challenge.

“There’s people still waiting for housing. We still get phone calls regularly. There’s more phone calls than we can vet for housing,” she said.

The Refugee Resource Center is always looking for donations and volunteers. If you are interested, you can reach out to the directors for more details at refugeeresourceaz@gmail.com

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