Newcomers should be aware that typical housing in the U.S. will not look like the housing they may have seen on television series, films or in advertisements. Most people in the U.S. live in modest, small homes they often struggle to afford. It is also important to understand that there is a housing shortage in the U.S., and there are not enough homes available for those seeking housing—especially affordable homes. Housing in the U.S. varies widely by location and neighborhood, and is generally expensive in all 50 states and in most neighborhoods.


Hotels and furnished accommodations are types of temporary housing commonly provided to newcomers when they first arrive in the U.S. This housing is often located in convenient locations with furniture, cooking utensils, laundry facilities and other amenities included. The long-term housing for which they will be searching soon after will most likely not be furnished, not have household supplies, and it may be in a less desirable location and smaller than their first temporary housing.


When searching for long-term housing in the U.S., realistic expectations and compromise are necessary. Location, size, convenience and comfort must align with monthly income. The first home a newcomer can afford to rent may not live up to expectations or be as comfortable as their first temporary housing. However, as income and savings increase, and they become more familiar with the rental search process, it will be possible to upgrade their housing.


Disclaimer:This article was created in partnership with Refugee Housing Solutions. Refugee Housing Solutions is a project of Church World Service (CWS) under an agreement paid for by the U.S. departments of State, and Health & Human Services.