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Room for Refugees U.K. Western Europe and the U.S. – Refugee Hosting Scheme








Room for Refugees is one of those ideas that makes the world a better place. It brings people together, those who need to find a home when they have lost all else, with generous individuals who want to share their home.

The concept was pioneered by Positive Action in Housing (Reg Charity No SC027577) in 2003/4. It is believed to be the oldest scheme of its kind in Western Europe. The Scheme went viral in September 2015 as the Syrian Crisis reached the public conscience. It is now rapidly growing month by month with new hosts as well as placements.

It is an active, tried and tested scheme with a 100% safety track record.  The scheme can be administered on-line by smartphone or pc to make it almost entirely paperless and relatively quick. The scheme currently has 30 or so partners across Scotland and the UK and we are developing new partnerships in Western Europe and the U.S. The software is constantly being improved to enable us to bring our expertise in safe hosting to the rest of the world.

DEB2015012G1007-2303The scale of the refugee crisis makes housing an enormous challenge, but not insurmountable. Room for Refugees, specialised and pioneering as it is, has the scope to help people across the globe. This scheme is a sensitive, human approach to helping individuals caught up in this crisis.

As of December 2015, we have 2,568 volunteer refugee hosts across the UK, with increasing numbers across Western Europe and the U.S. We are actively housing refugee families and individuals, and building up refugee partner agencies across the UK, Western Europe and the U.S. So far in 2015, the scheme, has provided 2,489 nights of free shelter through refugee hosts to people from refugee and asylum seeking communities in Scotland and across the UK.


Statement by Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing:

“The Room for Refugees scheme has saved the taxpayer millions each year. The level of pastoral support to enable individuals to resettle and rebuild their lives is unrivalled and outshines dumping vulnerable people into isolating, often hostile, sink estates and slum housing without community support.

“Western Governments are blinding themselves to a unique and major opportunity to respond in a humanitarian way to the plight of refugees, who they are responsible for. Decades of Western European and UK asylum policy is clearly and specifically designed to deter refugees from coming into Europe.

“The UK Government is playing down the true capacity of this country to take in refugees. As this scheme shows, there is ample space to take in refugees within the UK. People living here are desperate to share their homes, with many offering multiple rooms, and even whole houses, which would otherwise lie empty. We also have immense wealth to take care of those in need.  But the UK government does not wish to admit this because it then needs to accept it is complicit in making refugees homeless while they are still in the middle of the legal process of claiming refuge, and this was the reason our scheme was set up in the first place.

“Positive Action in Housing is dedicated to growing this scheme, to supporting refugees and those seeking asylum, and to making the world a better place by sharing what we have with those who so desperately need it.”

20151215_200220For more info contact Robina Qureshi, Director, Positive Action in Housing at tel 0141 353 2220 or email










More info

  1. Like our Facebook page:
  2. To become a volunteer refugee host please register your details online at
  3. Caseworkers in Scotland, the UK, Western Europe and the U.S. who support destitute refugees and asylum seekers with no recourse to funds can refer destitute families or individuals to the online system, and  should email to be registered onto Room for Refugees. we will then match their clients with suitable hosts.
  4. To register to host a refugee family or individual in need of free, temporary shelter, please register your details at
  5. To help keep the scheme growing, please make a  donation here, to pay for the running of Room for Refugees.
  6. To protect our independence, we are sustained by donations averaging about £25 a year. Only a tiny portion of our subscribers give. If everyone reading this right now gave £3 to £4 a month, our fundraiser would be done. We’re a small non-profit charity with costs of developing cutting edge projects and employing staff.  You can set up a regular payment of £4 a month or however much you can afford by clicking here (We use BT MyDonate because they do not charge fees for using the service so all your donation goes to a good cause).
  7. You can also donate by paying using Paypal to our email
  8. For other ways to donate, email
  9. Positive Action in Housing is an anti racist refugee homelessness charity with a global remit. We are a Scottish Registered Charity (SC027577) and a Company Limited by Guarantee (158867).