“Housing Lab” Home Rental Search Labs at the Social Integration and Employability Center of Caritas Hellas in Kipseli

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, the Social Worker and Legal Advisor of the Social Integration and Employability Center of Caritas Hellas in Kipseli provided another informative workshop on the research for a rental house in Athens.

The idea arose out of the need of the served population of the Social Center to integrate into the Greek society. Most express the need to rent a home as they are no longer beneficiaries of the official accommodation scheme running in Greece, and therefore need to find an accommodation alternative independently. They are the most energetic part of the population served at the Social Center, determined to live and work in the Greek society.

Introducing the proposed methods of finding accommodation (internet, door-to-door and real estate agencies), the rapporteurs discussed the pros and cons of each alternative and what they need to pay attention to. Moreover, indicative areas of Athens where the individuals can seek for an apartment have been proposed, in addition to the areas the people usually move around and are already familiar with.

In addition, participants were presented with samples of the usual bills – water, electricity, and utilities – that they would normally be required to pay when renting an apartment, showing them at the same time how to measure the apartment’s consumption. The private agreement and how to register it in the TAXISNET site were also explained, as well as the benefits that they will have when they obtain a residence permit.

A week later, on Tuesday, November 19, the meeting continued. This time, the goal was a real-time practice on the subject of renting a home. With the help of computers, and with the supervision of the Social Worker, participants were introduced to the process of searching for a home through the websites themselves, and even found the courage to slowly begin to call for the ads they were finding interesting, trying for the possibility to become potential tenants!

The idea and its implementation turned out to be great, as people kept taking notes, asking questions, and many of them were leaving those meetings feeling ready to search for potential homes for themselves!

The informative workshop is part of the Program “Social and Economic Integration of Refugees and Immigrants in Athens” concerning the support and integration of refugees and immigrants in Greek society. The Program is implemented by Caritas Hellas and is funded by Caritas Switzerland.