Barriers to Safe and Secure Housing for Refugee Women at Risk


Since World War II, more than three quarters of a million refugees and their descendants have built a new life in Australia, and have contributed socially, culturally and economically.

These contributions are often the definition of successful settlement and integration. The broader markers of integration are in the areas of employment, housing, education and health. These are the outcomes that are measured to determine whether someone of refugee background has successfully integrated but, at the same time, they are also the pathways to achieving these outcomes.

Settlement Services International (SSI) is a community-based, not-for-profit organisation and provides a range of services in the areas of humanitarian and migrant settlement, housing services, asylum seeker assistance, disability support, foster care, and youth and employment support services in New South Wales (NSW).

In 2015-2016, SSI provided direct services to more than 16,000 individuals, mostly newly arrived migrants and refugees. Eight thousand people were assisted with short-term, crisis, and long-term housing.

Access to Housing

A key settlement outcome for newly arrived refugees is finding secure, affordable and long-term rental accommodation. Access to accommodation is the central foundation for other settlement outcomes in terms of education, employment, health and wellbeing, and community connectedness.

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