Urban Housing Solutions
Enabling dignity in urban displacement
Refugee Protection International is preparing to provide emergency cash assistance to victims of war-damaged housing in Komyshuvakha in Ukraine’s southeastern province of Zaporizhzhia. On May 12, 2022, RPI and its Ukrainian partner charity visited several of the 60 reported houses that were damaged by rocket strikes and shelling in the rural town on May 11th. Emergency cash assistance will support these families to access temporary shelter in safer areas and/or to do minimal housing repairs to protect themselves and their belongings while they plan a path out of harm’s way. RPI is also fundraising to upgrade living conditions at collective centers hosting internally displaced persons in Ukraine. RPI has visited 3 of these dormitories/hostels, which require urgent improvements to water and sanitation, kitchen equipment and/or furniture in order to accommodate additional IDPs.
Since 2015, RPI and its partners have responded annually to the urgent winterization needs of informal camps for internally displaced persons in northwest Syria. RPI projects led onsite by its refugee-led implementing partners have insulated and repaired tents, equipped families with mattresses and rugs, and provided heaters and eco-friendly fuel (dried olive waste) for heating, washing, and cooking. Earlier in the conflict RPI also supported shelter NFIs in south/central Syria. In addition, displaced persons have received temporary rent-free urban housing thanks to upgrades done to hosting shelters in projects co-designed by RPI and its local partners. These projects have often targeted IDPs living in collective shelters to be closed and who require alternative accommodation.
In neighboring Turkey, RPI helped newly arrived Syrian refugees to access urban housing rentals by working with refugee-led partners to mediate rental agreements with local landlords and to provide temporary rental subsidies to tenants. RPI has worked with its partners to prevent the eviction of female-led refugee families from apartments by linking temporary rental subsidies with livelihoods training programs designed to ease their transition to self-reliance. Turkey has had the highest absolute number of refugees in the world. In Lebanon, which has hosted the largest number of refugees per capita, RPI has worked to provide emergency shelter assistance to Syrian refugees who face housing demolishment orders in informal refugee settlements.
In sum, RPI and its local implementing partners have met 29,476 shelter needs by:
- Subsidizing rent and securing free housing rentals for IDPs in exchange for shelter repairs
- Upgrading housing to render it fit for habitation: rehabilitating plumbing, windows, doors, and generator connections
- Distributing mattresses, blankets, heaters, fuel, and insulation to civilians evacuated from besieged areas and/or fleeing violence
- Distributing waterproof floor matting to flooded tented settlements
- Distributing dried olive pulp as an environmentally friendly fuel for heating and cooking
- Monitoring forced evictions and living conditions
- Mediating disputes between landlords and refugee tenants
Renewable Fuel And Other Housing Essentials
In Syria, 6,765 persons received waterproof floor matting for tents and 4,920 Syrians received alternative heating fuel. 440 civilians evacuated from Eastern Aleppo received mattresses, heaters, blankets, and insulation.
In Syria, 2,400 persons received protective sheeting for 600 damaged shelters and 461 IDPs benefited from repairs to 87 shelters. In Lebanon, 194 refugees received materials for 43 replacement shelters.
In southern Turkey, 240 refugees, mainly women and children, received subsidized rent and/or coal. In Syria, landlords provided 1 year of free rent to 75 IDPs in return for shelter repairs.