International Rescue Committee's Practices Leave San Diego Refugees Vulnerable
A KPBS investigation uncovered staff at a local resettlement agency, which relies on federal dollars, were encouraging or facilitating refugees to lie on rental documents in order to get housing. The inaccurate forms left some refugee families vulnerable to losing their homes. Since publication, the agency’s director resigned, and the organization conducted an internal review, retrained its staff and reassessed how it places large refugee families into homes.
Refugees claim they were urged to lie about size of their families on leases
Refugees say resettlement workers faced with a tight rental market crammed them into too-small apartments, under leases that omitted occupants. They say that puts them at risk of losing their homes.
After a KPBS investigation found four refugee families living with more people in their apartments than on their lease, more have come forward, saying a resettlement agency put them in apartments that were too small.
The International Rescue Committee began investigating its San Diego office after a series of KPBS reports on refugees who said they were told to sign leases that did not list all family members in their homes.
After a posting for the position appeared online last week, the IRC's national office confirmed the San Diego executive director is no longer with the agency.
IRC San Diego's acting executive director Mireille Cronin Mather discusses changes made after a KPBS investigation found refugee families were placed in homes that were too small.
We follow up with some refugee families months after a KPBS investigation found a San Diego resettlement agency's improper housing placement practices put them at risk of losing their homes.
The International Rescue Committee knew as early as June 2016 that it was improperly placing some San Diego refugee families in homes too small to accommodate them, yet the practice continued.