Swedish website matches refugees with private accomodation
The organisation Refugees Welcome opened a new, non-profit housing website on Thursday, which makes it possible for private individuals in Sweden to open their homes to refugees.
The idea of the site, Refugees-Welcome.se, is to match people who want to receive refugees in their homes, for as long as three months, in a sort of social contract.
The concept comes from a sister organisation in Germany and has in recent weeks launched in a number of European countries, including Sweden.
Fredrik Landqvist, chairperson of Refugees-Welcome.se, says the arrangement can benefit both sides.
"Refugees can live in decent accomodation, listen and learn Swedish and the culture. While those offering a helping hand can get to know another culture and help someone in need. The ambition is to have someone live with you for upto three months. This is about social matchmaking," he tells Radio Sweden.
He also says that they have safeguards against any abuse of the system.
"Anyone who has a room or two who wants to open up their homes can fill in a form on the website. On the other side, different organisations who are helping asylum seekers, and the authorities, such as the Migration Agency, will have secure access to the database.
"They will have the information about the accomodation owner and the refugee. They then arrange for them to meet. A contract is signed between the one opening the room and the one who wants to move in.. We have to be very, very careful about trust for all parties," he tells Radio Sweden.
Frederic Landqvist contacted Refugees-Welcome.Germany, which started running the project four weeks ago and has helped around 300 refugees find private accomodation. He says that he hopes the Swedish version will be able to start, in earnest, settling refugees within four weeks.