I heard a flash about ‘Refugee Homestay’ as I flicked through TV channels last night and followed it up. The Australian Homestay Network has started up a Community Placement Network (CPN) with the goal of offering short-term, homestay accommodation to eligible asylum seekers leaving immigration detention.
Leaving Immigration Detention To Live On A Bridging Visa
The Government has announced a greater use of community detention and temporary visas to better manage boat people seeking asylum here. See media release from the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.
A Bridging visa allows an asylum seeker to live lawfully in the community here until their immigration case is resolved.
Once released from detention refugees living on a Bridging visa have permission to work.
About Bridging Visas
Bridging visas do not mean public housing will be provided.
It is expected that many refugees will find their own accommodation in the private rental market though some may have family, friends or other community support mechanisms – such as Neighbourhood Houses – available to them.
Those who need assistance may be eligible for transitional support, including short-term accommodation, under existing support programs.
Visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s (DIAC) website for more information on the Community Assistance Support program.
What CPN Will Do
CPN offers short-term accommodation support to asylum seekers on Bridging visas.
It will screen, train, guide and support volunteer hosts throughout the homestay experience.
The homestay arrangement is for a period of six weeks and hosts are reimbursed agreed accommodation costs through their guest paying board.
A Red Cross Connection
The Australian Red Cross will provide:
- complex case work support
- a basic living allowance
- support in accessing accommodation options
- access to general healthcare and referrals to services such as social support and education
Would You Like To Be A Host?
- Do you have a spare room/s?
- Do you live near public transport?
- Are you interested in assisting an asylum seeker to support themselves in the Australian Community?
- Are you respectful of different cultures and keen to learn about other cultures?
If you answered ‘YES’ to all of the above questions then you may be able to Join as a Host in the Community Placement Network.
Sounds like a good idea