OECD report on housing support for Ukrainian refugees
The historic mass outflow of people fleeing Russia’s large-scale aggression against Ukraine has placed significant pressures on the reception capacities of OECD and EU countries. By mid-July, the UNHCR had recorded nearly 5.8 million individual refugees in Europe, a disproportionate share of whom remain in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries. Many arrivals face a variety of settlement-related challenges. Perhaps the most pressing of these challenges is access to housing. Safe, secure, and affordable housing is essential to health and overall well-being, providing a base from which to seek employment, re‑establish family relationships and make connections with the wider community.
Under the EU Temporary Protection Directive, beneficiaries of temporary protection (BTPs) in EU member states are entitled to a suitable accommodation or housing or, as an alternative, to receive means to obtain housing if necessary. Initially, many of those who had to flee Ukraine found shelter in private accommodations provided by individual households on a voluntary basis. Others were sheltered in the immediate term by national authorities who had scaled up reception facilities. However, both options are often only temporary solutions. In other OECD countries, both in and outside Europe, access to accommodation varies according to the type of protection or status granted. Several non-EU countries have enacted dedicated sponsorship schemes, through which sponsors are responsible for covering costs of accommodation for Ukrainian individuals or families for the duration of their stay.