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REIQ Journal : November 2008
40 Settling into a new life: Housing for refugees in Queensland By Multicultural Affairs Queensland, Department of Communities Every year, Queensland becomes home to more refugees from around the globe. Since 2002, more than 6,000 refugees have settled in Queensland, with around 1,400 in the past year alone. FOR MANY, THIS is their first experience in a free and democratic society; one in which they are responsible for their own housing, finances, health and other life choices. Refugees have often suffered persecution or the effects of war — some may have been raised or even born in refugee camps — so adjusting to life in a new country is a challenge, and settlement can take a long time. REIQ Journal November 2008 Communities and Multicultural Affairs Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr said finding suitable housing was one of the critical factors in enabling refugees to feel stable and secure. “Establishing links and support networks is vital if they are to effectively settle into their new life,” Ms Nelson-Carr said. “For example, many refugees find it difficult to find appropriate housing. “No references and limited rental experience may be a reason, as well as little knowledge of the local market or rental processes, and common misconceptions about their ability to be ‘good tenants’. “Some refugees have large families, or live with extended relatives, making suitable accommodation even harder to find.” Anzo James and his wife Elizabeth arrived in Australia in 2004.
December January 2009