For many refugees one of the most exciting aspects of resettlement is the chance to live in their own home. This opportunity is only possible through the generosity of landlords who give refugees a chance to be great tenants, even when they don’t have a rental history in the US.
One of our partners in the effort to house refugees is local Minneapolis landlord, Bill Bryant. Bill has lived in the Phillips community in Minneapolis for many years and has been an active community leader for the past ten years. Part of his community involvement has included founding the Southside Rental Property Group (website under construction), an organization which strives to educate and organize landlords and tenants in the Phillips community, including the refugee community.
Bill began renting to refugees three years ago, and in the past few years has rented to several Somali families. His interest in the Somali refugee community began in part due to an interest in comparative religious studies with Islam, as well as an appreciation for the Somali Village Market just a few blocks away from his home. Through a referral by community members and other landlords, Bill has further expanded his interest in the Somali community by renting to newly arriving refugees through MCC Refugee Services.
We could not do the work we do without partners like Bill. From timely responses to maintenance requests to educating tenants in their native language about building safety, Bill and landlords like him are truly inspiring stability. Our RSHN program for formerly homeless refugees highlights that housing security is a catalyst for greater economic and family stability. When these essentials are in place, families are empowered to pursue their dreams. “I look forward to continuing an ongoing relationship with Refugee Services, to improve the placement and relocation efforts needed in this important transition for these good people” says Bill.