Why shouldn’t refugees and people seeking asylum be able to live in shared housing arrangements?

We could not find an answer as to why not and found a way to make it happen.

How it works

Sign up as a host and share some basic information about you and your accommodation.

Please note we are only processing application in Brisbane and surroundings at this stage.

We get in contact with you and ask you to share more details about your expectations with us. If we are all on the same terms, we will proceed to see if there is someone suitable who you can share your home with.

Currently, we do not have the resources to help you financially. You will open your home free of charge, or for low rent if the resident is able to contribute financially.

Your resident moves in for an initial trial period of 3 weeks or otherwise agreed. If you are both happy, the resident will stay for the agreed period of time of 3 months or more.

We'll do our best to support you along the way.


Who are we?

Refugees Welcome Australia (RWA) is a volunteer-based, non-profit organisation that offers homestay housing to refugees and people seeking asylum living in Australia.
We believe connections between people can make a real difference when it comes to building strong and cohesive communities.

People like you and me are making a difference. You too can offer to share your home with someone who needs a place to live. People of all backgrounds and ages are encouraged to get involved with our work; as hosts, as buddies, as volunteers, and as a public supporter of our program.

Refugees Welcome Australia is a division of Refugees Welcome International. Refugees Welcome was founded in 2015 by a group of people in Berlin – who wanted to do something practical to help refugees and asylum seekers. Since then Refugees Welcome has expanded to 14 countries across Europe, Canada and Australia.

Help us spread the word about Refugees Welcome Australia and other similar initiatives in the country.

We need your help to reach potential hosts.

Refugees Welcome Australia is not affiliated with any political party or religious group. We support and allocate accommodation based on needs. We do not discriminate according to the legal status of the asylum seeker, country of origin and certainly not based on religion.



The facts

Currently, an increasing number of people seeking asylum living in our communities have limited or no access to housing and support systems. Research indicates more and more people will be without work rights and cut off support in 2018.

The highest number of people seeking asylum currently living in Australia originate from: Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Nepal, Malaysia, Egypt, Fiji, Lebanon.



Becoming a host is an opportunity for you to show solidarity to people in need and help in a very real and practical way.  play a significant part in the difficult process of resettlement and integration.

1. Sign up as a host

Sign up as a host and share some basic information about yourself, your expectations and the type of accommodation you offer. There is no commitment expected from you at this point, we will contact you in person first. If your circumstances change or you change your mind we totally understand.

2. Match host and guest

We get in contact with you and discuss the program in more detail.  We gather more details about your expectations and accommodation offer so we can find a suitable match. For security purposes, we will request you to complete a regular police clearance check.

Once a match is found, we set up a meeting over a cuppa between you and the potential guest. You both have the chance to get to know each other. We will discuss the ins and outs of your arrangements and take it from there.

3. Find ways to help you financially

Refugees Welcome Australia is entirely self-funded and volunteer-based. Unfortunately, we are not capable to support you financially at this stage. However, if you do need financial support we can help find ways to cover some of the costs.

4. Guest comes to stay

When both you and a guest are comfortable about the match, your guest moves in for a one week trial. You continue to share accommodation for an agreed length of time, for a minimum of 3 months or more.  If either of your decide the arrangement is not working, Refugees Welcome will be responsible to find another home for your guest.

Your support network

From the moment you first meet with us and your future guest, you are assigned a trained ’buddy’ who will be the direct contact person for you and your guest. Our buddies are trained volunteers who provide assistance with communication, logistical arrangements, and any issues you experience along the way.


Refugees Welcome Australia relies entirely on the dedication and hard work of volunteers.

We have grown to a stage we need funds to be able to fill the gap that exists in the support system more widely. If you would like to help realise and expand this project to other states, you can fund our project by the donate button below.

Donate funds


We try and link the resident of the home-sharing arrangement with buddy volunteers. If you want to become a buddy and a genuine friend to people from refugee backgrounds, you can complete this form here.

There are many other practical opportunities to support refugees and people seeking asylum by donating some of your time. We truly believe in volunteering and we do our utmost best to seek the best opportunities for each team member.

If you want to donate your time, please email us your availability, a brief description of you and some of your many skills, and the general reasons for volunteering with us. You can email us at volunteer@refugeeswelcome.org.au. 

Donate time

Contact us

If you are a journalist and would like some more information or an interview, please contact: admin@refugeeswelcome.org.au

Press photos

We are looking for volunteers with media experience to work on their own projects to help promote the work of Refugees Welcome Australia.

For more information contact: volunteer@refugeeswelcome.org.au

Some of the media that previously wrote about us:

A personal insight into the world of people seeking protection

We have started to receive messages from people around the world stuck in places of war,

torture and distress.

This blog will tell the story of the people seeking asylum who we are unable to help.

We hope that by releasing these stories into the wider world, the lives of these

people are not forgotten.

You can follow our blog here.

For all enquiries please contact:


(+61) 4 9075 9323

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