How to find accommodation in Belgium

Accommodation options in Belgium for refugees and immigrants

One of the main problems for refugees and immigrants is finding housing. Depending on the composition of the family, the age of each, the requirements for a future apartment or house depend. In Belgium, residence – search and control, is handled by the OCMW / CPAS service. Representatives of the center will help you find a temporary or permanent shelter, take into account the peculiarities. We have prepared a description of several accommodation options in Belgium for refugees and immigrants. This information will help you find the best temporary or permanent accommodation.

Reception center

You can get temporary housing in Belgium after registering for refugee status. To do this, you need to drive to Brussels and head to the Petit-Château ( Petit-Château ) at st. Passchandael, 2. The federal agency Fedasil is located here. It deals with the affairs of immigrants who have arrived in the country. You will be provided with an interpreter, after filling out the papers they will give a brochure on the possibility of accommodation in the reception center. One of the mandatory procedures is a complete medical examination.

Accommodation in a reception center

What you need to know about living in Belgium in a reception center for refugees and immigrants:

  • In fact, these are refugee camps with common accommodation. Be prepared to share a toilet and kitchen with several families.
  • If your asylum application is denied, you must leave the reception centre. However, you may receive urgent medical attention.
  • The organization and arrangement of housing is carried out by the representation of the Red Cross or Fedasil.
  • The choice of camp is influenced by the number of people in your family, the availability of free places.
  • If you are not satisfied with the conditions, you can file a complaint through a social worker. In addition, free translation services will be provided.

After choosing a place, you will be given the exact address and directions to the reception center. They will explain how to use public transport services correctly. Travel to the place of residence in Belgium for refugees is free, bus or train tickets are issued.

Upon arrival, you will be shown the place of temporary accommodation. In addition to rest and sleep, the center will provide food, free medical care, clothes, and personal hygiene products.

Important: Be sure to read the rules of residence. Violation of them can lead to eviction and cancellation of the application for asylum in Belgium.

Housing not in the reception center

Conditions in a refugee camp do not always meet your personal requirements. If there is a financial opportunity, you can rent an apartment, a room for the duration of the asylum application on your own. This procedure can take up to 1 month, so you need to be prepared for the costs. It is imperative that you notify OCMW / CPAS of your new address after you move in. If you move, this procedure must be repeated.

Accommodation not in the reception center from Fedasil

But it should be borne in mind that with such a choice of housing, the state immigration service will not pay for the rent of a house or apartment. You and your family will have to eat at your own expense. This option of living in Belgium for refugees is suitable if there is a reserve of money for the first time for settling in the country. Urgent medical care, psychological support can be obtained regardless of the choice of accommodation.

Tip: Immigrants often stay with relatives or acquaintances while the application is being processed. An alternative is the help of volunteers, temporary residence with a Belgian family.

How to find housing after obtaining refugee status

When Fedasil officially confirms your status, you have 2 months to find a new place to live. After this period, you must leave the reception center. If the situation is critical, health or other circumstances do not allow, the period of placement can be extended up to 4 months. Documents required for renting: ID card A, health insurance and bank account, card. This is enough to rent an apartment, house, studio or apartment.

How to rent a house in Belgium as an immigrant

Recommendations for finding a rental in Belgium:

  • The minimum living area for 1 person is 18 sq.m.
  • Charmingly check the condition of the apartment or house. Electricity, water supply and heating must be in working order. No mold, no damp spots.
  • To search, you can contact the Social Lease Bureau SVK. There is an alternative organization – the SHM Social Housing Society.
  • Real estate websites – Immoweb, Immovlan, Zimmo, Realo and Immoscoop.

The state pays for housing rent in Belgium for refugees. However, there are limits on the maximum fee. For a family with two minor children, it is 750 Euros per month. If you live on your own, the rent should not exceed 350 Euros per month. The amount of the guarantee payment is 1-3 months of rent. This amount can be paid by OCMW / CPAS. However, it will be deducted from your social security payments. After the end of the contract, the tenant is obliged to return the guarantee payment to you.

Important: the cost of living in Belgium depends on the region. The highest prices are in Brussels and other major cities of the country.

Homeless shelter

We note right away that this option is recommended to be used only as a last resort. The reason is that the conditions of accommodation in homeless shelters are worse than in a reception center or other similar places. Information about them can be obtained from the nearest OCMW/CPAS or CAW. Additional accompaniment is possible if you are not oriented in the city or are too tired to move independently.

In a homeless shelter, you will be provided with accommodation in a common room, shower and toilet, food, and primary medical care is possible. Additionally, you can order a storage room. However, in the morning you will have to leave this revenge, it will be possible to return only in the evening.

Finding accommodation in Belgium for refugees can be tricky. The way out is to plan your actions in advance. They depend on the composition of the family, the chosen region of accommodation. But in any case, the Belgian social program for the protection of immigrants will not leave you without an overnight stay and minimum conditions for accommodation.