About us

Room For Refugees is a community hosting network that offers safe, temporary homes and pastoral support for insecurely housed refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable groups. We are challenging the “hostile environment” with a human response that is reaping life-transforming results for everyone who takes part.

Glasgow hosting placement

“Like Airbnb for refugees”

Room for Refugees was pioneered by Positive Action in Housing (Scottish Registered Charity No SC027577). It is the longest-running refugee hosting programme, run by a registered charity, in the UK or Western Europe. We pioneered the idea in 2002, when an Iraqi refugee came into our office and told us he had lost his appeal, had been evicted by the Home Office and was not allowed emergency housing from the local authority. He was forbidden to work or get any kind of support. We were incredulous. Amongst our staff and volunteers, we arranged to take him and others into our homes. The idea grew from there.

We specialise in safe refugee hosting for refugees facing destitution – offering a major practical resource, and a compassionate approach to supporting refugees to rebuild their lives with an unrivalled level of pastoral support. The concept is simple: sharing what we have in the Western world with those who don't.

We went “viral” in September 2015, receiving extensive coverage from newspapers and other websites. The Guardian newspaper did an extensive photo essay about some of the people we host. See more press coverage here.

Since 2002, Room for Refugees has assisted over 4,500 refugee families and  individuals through life transforming outcomes, helping lrebuild new lives.

We have worked with local authorities to accommodate unaccompanied child refugees with long term loving families using kinship assessments and fostering arrangements.

we help refugee doctors find shelter especially when they are unable to prove they have the Right to Rent. 

We assist those with no recourse to public funds whose chances of resolution would improve by being sheltered so that their caseworkers can proactively help resolve their legal or housing situation.

We work to divert people away from destitution, and towards rebuilding their lives, in order to have the stability to find work or get qualified, and contribute to society. 

In the UK, we work in partnership with over 400 non-profit refugee and homelessness organisations, including  the British Red Cross, Freedom from Torture, Shelter, Scottish Refugee Council, Praxis, Helen Bamber Foundation, British Refugee Council, and others.

in the US, we have worked successfully with a smaller number of agencies to place refugees in the homes of US citizens.

The model of refugee hosting can bypass red tape and bureaucracy to ensure vulnerable people without recourse to funds have a safe home from which to rebuild. This approach has a greater chance of seeing people towards independence and becoming net contributors to the country's tax base than standing the way of their resettlement.

Our successful placements give a level of pastoral support and community involvement that is life transforming. Those seeking shelter often find long term resolution, create bonds of friendship and interact on so many human levels with those who have room to spare.

To become a member of the Room for Refugees community, and offer temporary shelter to an individual or a family while they get their lives back on track, register now or email us at home@positiveactionh.org.

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