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Media Release – New report: Refugees facing discrimination by agents and landlords

The Settlement Council of Australia today released its report on The Effects of Discrimination on Refugee and Migrant Housing Needs, pointing to systemic discrimination against refugees and other migrants in the private housing market.

Tammy Wolffs, CEO of the Settlement Council, said, “Due to long waiting lists for government and other social housing, many newly arrived refugees and other migrants are forced into the private rental market.

“Many Australians face barriers to private rentals – for example when their income is from government payments or they are in low paid jobs, if they are sole parents, if they have a large family, or if someone in the household has a disability.  Many migrants will experience one or more of these factors, with the added factor of racism.

“This report presents evidence of direct discrimination by real estate agents towards refugees and other migrants.”

Tammy Wolffs said, “While organisations offering settlement services for new residents do an amazing job of building relationships with real estate agents and other organisations in their areas to secure housing for their clients, in some cases there is just no suitable accommodation.  For example, in many cultures, it is the practice to have large families or for generations to live together and there are not enough larger – and affordable – houses for these families.

“Affordable and appropriate housing is essential if refugees and other new migrants are to settle well into Australian life.  More could be done to improve access to government and other social housing and to better help housing providers and the broader community to understand, welcome and house our newer members of the Australian community.”

Contact: Tammy Wolffs

02 6282 8515
0419 988 059