Please get in touch with your municipality. Describe precisely how much space is available in your place and the type of accommodation (e.g. bedroom, room, etc). Make sure to mention your contact details, where you reside and possibly your family/household composition.
The municipality will centralise this info and forward it to the National Crisis Centre.
Kindly be patient if you contact your municipality to offer a place.
For more information, you can visit the website of your town or municipality.
Frequently asked questions
What are the requirements for making a place available?
There are no specific criteria or requirements. The place of residence must not solely be safe, but should be equally of good quality and provide comfort. Family hosts must be able to accommodate conveniently. There is no minimum or limit on the amount of sleeping places.
What are the conditions for applying?
Each adult member of a candidate host family must either submit an extract from the criminal record or give the municipality authorization permission to consult this extract in question directly. The application will not be taken into consideration if one or more adult members of the candidate host family refuse to do so or have been convicted for certain crimes that pose a risk to the physical integrity of the persons fleeing.
What is the time period of accommodating someone?
It is difficult to make an estimation of how long this emergency shelter will last. The aim is to alleviate the initial need through this crisis accommodation and to give people a permanent place to stay. Your municipality can impose conditions on the minimum shelter period. Be aware that it is not easy to find your own place to live on the rental market in Belgium.
What is the temporary protection status and who is eligible for it?
The temporary protection status is a European protection status which ensures - in case of a high influx of refugees into the EU, for example from Ukraine - the refugees do not have to go through a long procedure. It concerns the following categories of people:
- Ukrainians with their nuclear family who had their main residence in Ukraine before 24/2
- People who had international protection or national protection based on statelessness in Ukraine
- People with permanent residence in Ukraine who are unable to return safely and permanently to their home country
What are the rights of an Ukrainian with temporary protection?
People with this status have access to all the rights of a foreigner in legal residence: access to the labour market, access to social services, etc. Children can also attend school.
What are the main profiles of the people on flee?
There are many women with children in need of hosting but there are also single men and women.
I would like to take care of a minor without parents. What can I do?
You can find more information on this page.
What can I do if it does not 'click' with their guests or vice versa?
Welcoming people is very noble, but not always obvious. It is therefore possible that problems arise during this period that make an early departure better for both parties. Of course, this is always possible. In that case, it is best to get in touch with the contact person at the local administration to look into a transfer. Moreover, if your guests no longer feel comfortable with their current accommodation, they can get in touch with the local contact person.
What about insurance?
The general rules apply as far as insurance is concerned. A family health insurance covers everyone living under the same roof. A person with temporary protection can register with the compulsory health insurance (mutual society) to cover medical expenses.
Will I be provided compensation from the government?
No. There is no compensation provided.
Can I ask my guest for a contribution to the costs?
Once your guest starts working or receives a living wage, it is self-evident that he or she must equally contribute to household costs (energy, food, etc.). Try to make convenient agreements.
Which agreements are convenient to make with my guest?
Agree on daily living arrangements, use of common areas, household chores, any financial contributions to the household and etcetera. It is important that as well as the host family as the guest are comfortable with the agreements that are made. Are there any problems? Contact the municipal coordinator or the PCSW for assistance.
Can I have my guest do chores around the house in exchange for accommodation?
A guest may certainly help with household chores, as long as you both agree and feel comfortable with the situation. However, carrying out tasks should not be seen as a way of paying for accommodation. This puts your guest in a very vulnerable situation and could be seen as exploitation. You should not use your guest as a free domestic help.
Can my guest obtain domicile himself?
Your guest can take up residence at your address. This can be done as a separate family unit, so there are no financial consequences for you as a host family. Is your guest only staying with you for a very temporary period? Then you can check with the PCSW whether a reference address with the PCSW is a possibility. In premises that are not originally intended for the domiciliation of people (sports hall, cultural center, etc.) a provisional registration can be made and it ends when the persons have left the premises.
Does the reception of these persons have an impact on my benefit and my taxes?
As long as it concerns a temporary reception, there is no impact on the category of living wage, the income guarantee for the elderly (IGO/GRAPA) , the income substitution allowance (IVT/ARR) or the integration allowance (IT/ AI) of the person who receives them. There is also no impact on your tax calculation.
What if my guest has debts?
As a public and ministerial official, the judicial officer must always ensure that he acts in accordance with the precautionary principle. As the sole person responsible for the enforcement procedure, he is in the best position to assess the situation on the spot according to the circumstances that arise. Judicial officers must consult the national register systematically before any intervention in the home of an individual subject to an enforcement measure.
How do I behave during the first days?
Make sure that your guest can relax. Do not ask (immediately) about their story. Help your guest with their basic needs such as food, clothing and medical care. Offer a listening ear if needed.
How do I communicate with my guest?
Not all persons who have fled from Ukraine speak English. Here are some tools that can help you communicate:
Where can I/ my guest go for professional support?
The PCSW can assist you with all kinds of questions. However, there are also many other organizations that can help:
- Ukraine general information line
- Refugee Council Flanders info line, in cooperation with Orbit (Dutch and English) and Solentra (Dutch and French)
- "Sleeping badly, worrying and stress?", also available in Ukrainian and Russian
- Contact Tele-onthaal (telephone and chat - Dutch)
- For young people: contact Awel (telephone and chat - Dutch)
- Centre for General Welfare for professional assistance or psychosocial counselling (Dutch)
- Would you like to report violence, abuse or child abuse? Call 1712.
What can I do when I no longer want to host refugees, but my guest refuses to leave my house?
When temporarily hosting refugees, you generally let them stay without an official tenancy agreement.
In legal terms, this is usually referred to as a ‘precarium’, in which case you, as the owner of the house, can decide to terminate the agreement at any time and ask the guest to leave the house. That is also the case if the guest pays a financial contribution for their stay or if they are domiciled at your address.
If you wish to stop hosting, then you explicitly inform your guest about your decision. It is recommended that you also do so in writing. You are not obligated to state a reason or to pay damages. You can terminate the housing immediately or, if necessary, at very short notice. For practical and humane reasons, it is however recommended to make reasonable agreements. When in doubt, you can always get in touch with your contact person at the local government.
If your guest refuses to leave or if it is not possible to reach a mutual agreement, you can turn to the justice of the peace (info available in Dutch, French and German) to have the conflict resolved. You will find more information about the proceedings before the justice of the peace in the brochure ‘De vrederechter’ (available in Dutch and French).
If the stay was arranged with a tenancy agreement (which is unlikely in the case of temporary housing of refugees), you will find more information about your tenant’s rights and obligations in the brochure ‘Voorkom uithuiszetting’ (available in Dutch and French).
If you need legal advice (info available in Dutch and French), you can turn to a lawyer of your choice or you can apply for legal assistance.
How can I accommodate a refugee more permanently at home?
Since 2016, it has been possible in Flanders to use free spaces in one's own home to house one or more recognised refugees, who are required to leave the asylum reception centre due to the granting of international protection. This is also the case for people from Ukraine with temporary protection status.
You must report this to your commune. This can be a normal 'Notification Temporary Residence' or 'Care Residence'. In this way you help to provide structural shelter for people who are fleeing. At the same time, you are also protected as landlord of part of your home, both legally and fiscally.
Would you like more information? Then take a look at this website: Melding Tijdelijk Wonen (woninggezocht.be) or on Zorgwonen | Vlaanderen.be (information in Dutch).