If you urgently need accommodation for few days, or if your family wants to stay in Bulgaria after getting international protection, the organization Caritas has programs that might be able to help you.
You'll need to act fast, as the programs will only be available for a few more months.
You may be eligible for accommodation in a hostel for up to 7 days:
- If you have been granted international protection in Bulgaria and need to leave the camp
- If you have just been returned to Bulgaria from another European country
You can visit Caritas’ St. Anna Center for Refugee and Migrant Integration in person to learn more about the requirements and find out if you are eligible for emergency housing.
For now, you can apply for this short-term accomodation until the end of June 2018, but the program may end sooner, depending on funding.
Housing for 6 months
Caritas also offers help finding an apartment and paying the rent and/or utilities in your first 6 months living there.
How it works
Through the program, Caritas can cover:
- 100% of your rent in the first 3 months
- 75% of your rent in the 4th month
- 50% of your rent in the 5th month
- 25% of your rent in the 6th month
Support stops after 6 months. The idea is that you will be able to support yourself by then, and Caritas will help you get to that point.
The program also covers individual integration plans, training on how to manage your household’s finance, and translation and assistance with institutions and landlords.
Who can apply
To be eligible, you need to meet some requirements for asylum status, income and integration activities.
The program is open to people who got refugee status or humanitarian protection in Bulgaria in 2017 or 2018 and recently left the camp.
It's also open to people who applied for asylum in Bulgaria in 2014 or earlier, but whose application is still being processed. People who applied slightly later than 2014 might be considered, depending on their case.
To qualify for the program, the adult members of your family must be actively seeking employment or currently employed but earning less than 510 leva per person a month.
It is also open to families whose monthly income per capita is less than 321 leva.
Integration and work
You must be planning to stay in Bulgaria long-term, and you must be participating in integration-related activities: Any children are in school, any adults are seeking work or working, and you are attending Bulgarian language classes.
Who gets priority
Single parents, especially single mothers and households with 3 or more children, have priority.
You can apply for this assistance until the end of June 2018. People who were beneficiaries of Caritas’ housing program last year cannot apply again.
To find out more about these Caritas programs, you can visit St. Anna Center for Refugee and Migrant Integration and consult with Caritas in person. They can answer your questions.
Cover photo © Gordon Welters/UNHCR