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Poland: Refugees live in substandard housing conditions, study says (Unofficial translation)

The Association for Legal Intervention recently published the results of the monitoring of housing conditions of refugees in four Polish cities: Białystok, Lublin (and surroundings), Łomża and Warsaw (and sorroundings). According to the study, the majority of foreigners granted international protection in Poland live in substandard housing conditions which very negatively affects their integration potential and is a common reason for leaving the country.

Some of the main observations from the research include:

  • Difficulties to find accommodation on the open market due to prejudices of Poles who do not want to rent their flats to foreigners and other forms of discriminations. In Łomża for example, landlords tend to demand higher rents from refugees than from Poles.
  • Although access to social flats for refugees improved in recent years, it is still very difficult as the procedures are usually complicated and non-transparent. 
  • Substandard housing conditions. Their flats are often moldy, dank, not equipped with basic furniture, overcrowded, and in need of major repairs or even general renovation. The standards for social flats are not higher, and often worse than those of flats rented on the open market.
  • Multiple home removals due to deterioration of their financial situation, usually associated to worsening of housing conditions.
  • Constant fear to loose their accommodation.
  • Etc.

This hindered access to housing can lead to homelessness.

Read the study