The Path to a Better Integration: Idaho Refugee’s Housing Situation in Their Early Resettlements
University of Idaho Seed Grant
During the last six years Idaho has seen the fastest growth of annually resettled refugees in this country, from 263 in 2003 to 1,183 in 2009. Since 1983, more than 14,000 foreign refugees have settled in Idaho. Although they continue to enrich Idaho's cultural, social and racial heterogeneity, very little research has been done on refugees' resettlement experience and their challenges of social integration, particularly their housing needs and conditions. This project will examine refugees' housing needs and expectations at their first three years of arrival and how the refugee housing experience relates to successful resettlement and social integration. Employing survey and interviews, this study will identify refugees' particular housing challenges and provide a better understanding of Idaho refugees' housing experience, which will be critical for the provision of better services and programs. Also, this study will help establish collaborations among UI, refugee resettlement organizations, governmental agencies, and refugee communities, and encourage interdisciplinary collaborations within UI, which will promote opportunities for external funding to facilitate a better integration for refugees and to enhance a socially diverse and sustainable community at Idaho.