Help Ukrainian Refugees Find a Rental Home
A home is a fortress for everyone. This is particularly important for refugees, as permanent residence offers a sense of security and certainty for an already confused present and future. Ukrainian refugees continue to arrive in Estonia in extremely poor condition, and although many will soon be able to find a kindergarten place for their children and a job for themselves, there is much hardship in finding a rental to call their own. Although the state offers short-term housing for up to four months to people who have applied for temporary protection and received a positive decision, families must manage on their own after moving out.
Since spring, the Estonian Refugee Council has mediated more than 1,000 long-term accommodations. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg, because during that time, we have had nearly 4,000 worried families looking for homes. We have brokered apartments, houses and parts of houses in the larger cities of Estonia. The biggest demand is in urban centres such as Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu, where it is easiest to find work and for children to continue their education.
According to Anu Viltrop, Board Member of the Estonian Refugee Council, it is very difficult for Ukrainians and other foreigners to find long-term residence in Estonia: “It is not uncommon for landlords to be overly sceptical of foreigners or to want to take unfair advantage of people in vulnerable situations. That is why we think it is important to support people who have been through so much, so they can feel confident in Estonia and move on with their lives.”
Viltrop added that because each family is different, their needs are also varied. It is normal for tenants to pay the rent and utility bills properly. It is important to have honest and open communication between both parties to better understand each other’s expectations and hopes.
Teele, who gave her empty apartment in Tallinn to a Ukrainian family of four, is very happy with her decision. “As the apartment was empty, we decided to rent it out to those in need. Having received the contacts for a suitable family from the Estonian Refugee Council, we signed a contract and handed over the apartment. The family is polite and keeps the apartment very clean and tidy.”
You can list your apartment at the Estonian Refugee Council’s website.
Many thanks to the actresses from the Vanemuine theatre, who helped bring people’s stories to life in the video. Marika Barabanštšikova, Kärt Tammjärv and Maarja Johanna Mägi participate in the videos.