New program set to help Afghan refugees get settled in the metro

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Last year, more than 7,000 Afghan refugees were brought to temporarily live at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo – months later, some are still looking for a permanent place to stay.

City of Albuquerque officials and members from Lutheran Family Services have launched a new campaign to get Albuquerque landlords to rent to refugees still here in the state.

"So we currently have about 100-to-125 individuals we’re looking to house," said Farid Sharifi of Lutheran Family Services. "Some of those cases are single males and some family units consisting of a husband and wife and children."

They’re currently set up in temporary transitional housing. Campaign reps say it’s been a challenge because there’s a limited supply of rentals – and the pandemic didn’t help either.

"Post COVID, there were so many landlords that were burned during the process," said Kori-Ann Sanchez, of Lutheran Family Services. "There were a lot of people that didn’t pay their rent and were unable to pay their rents for great amounts of time, so many of our landlords right now are electing to get out of the property management business."

Officials say they want landlords to know the refugees have a huge network of support here in job placement and training, as well as government stipends that may cover deposits and a couple of months’ rent. If you’re interested in renting out a property, reach out to Lutheran Family Services.