- As of May 2023, some refugee women living in collective accommodation points are forced to pay 75% of the cost of that accommodation;
- Recent findings by the Migration Consortium show a number of irregularities related to the implementation of these changes;
- An estimated 100,000 people are housed in places of collective accommodation.
The Migration Consortium’s monitoring in 6 provinces of Poland and correspondence with authorities have shown a lack of a coherent strategy and information flow between authorities, and raise concerns about the intent of the legal changes, a realistic assessment of the living situation and the possibility of self-detention for refugee women, and the lack of alternatives in the Polish housing market with the observed social “hospitality fatigue” after a time of months of solidarity.
For some refugees, the mere vision of a legal change – with no clear instruction from the authorities – was enough to return to Ukraine, a country still under armed hostilities. They were often without a plan for the future or savings. They fled out of fear of homelessness in Poland.– writes report author Sarian Jarosz in the introduction.
Moreover, one can see the dramatically different standard of the collective accommodation points themselves. In some of them there are manifestations of discrimination, extortion and neglect; others are being liquidated month after month. It goes without saying for us that refugees should be supported by providing better access to the housing market. Meanwhile, they receive threats of eviction or housing costs that are inflated relative to the standard offered.
Along with the report, we have prepared a series of recommendations to the authorities:
- It is necessary to withdraw from the amendment of the Law assistance to Ukrainian citizens of 13 January 2023 in its current form, in particular from the obligation of the refugees to pay for the humanitarian assistance provided to them;
- Standardised and regular monitoring of collective accommodation points by province is necessary;
- We recommend the introduction of minimum standards to be met by all places of collective accommodation with regard to living conditions and their services, as well as clear provisions regarding how the responsibility for the support of refugee women should be divided between different public sector bodies;
- It is necessary to expand the housing offer – subsidised and government – for refugees and combine it with employment support programmes;
- It is also necessary to continue the support of private individuals renting housing to refugees.
You can read the full report here: