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People seeking asylum deserve safe housing but often face barriers to accessing this basic necessity. Through cutting edge research project we aim to better understand and address this issue.

A Place to Call Home: Housing and Homelessness Project 

Access to safe and sustainable housing is one of the most difficult challenges that people seeking asylum, refugees, and migrants in vulnerable situations within Australia face. 

In March 2020, JRS Australia launched the Foundations Housing Report (PDF) which investigated existing housing options in partnership with Life Without Barriers and the Asylum Seekers Centre and in collaboration with the Australian Red Cross, House of Welcome and Vinnies NSW. 

A Place to Call Home is an action-research project, funded by the Mercy Foundation and LWB, which aims to address the gap in research on the housing and homelessness experiences of people seeking asylum in Australia and develop a grounded evidence base for policy reform in this area. 

A Place to Call Home explores home/lessness experiences of women and families, and those who are awaiting judicial review of negative decisions on their protection claims or seeking ministerial intervention to allow them to remain in Australia. Outputs of the research will include an advocacy document created in collaboration with people seeking asylum, housing, homelessness and asylum-seeker sectors highlighting relevant asks. 

The early part of the research informed a policy submission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into Homelessness in June 2020, a range of structural factors (ie. short term visas and barriers to employment) that enable higher incidences of homelessness; the absence of adequate, targeted prevention and response strategies and resources; the lack of data about lives and circumstances of people seeking asylum at risk of homelessness, and additional risks that precipitate homelessness for particularly vulnerable groups including women experiencing DV/FV. In July 2020 we also provided a submission to the NSW Government Housing Strategy Discussion Paper. 

The research is being conducted in partnership with Dr Elizabeth Conroy of Western Sydney University. 

The project is guided by an Advisory Group including representatives from the Australian Red Cross, House of Welcome, Life Without Barriers, the National Refugee Advisory and Advocacy Group (NRAAG), NSW Department of Communities and Justice, Tenant’s Union of NSW & Vinnies NSW.