Housing solution to support urban refugees and host communities

  • Jordan


Norwegian Refugee Council

Date program started:



Provide safe, free and dependable housing for refugees and their families.


  • Creating safe and free housing for refugee families that is up to standard
  • Enabling a more cohesive community in an area affected by refugee influx by stimulating economy rather than harming housing market

Targeted population:

Most vulnerable urban refugees and Jordanian landlords

Challenge addressed:

Cash-for-rent programmes typically used to provide refugees with money to afford accommodation negatively impacts housing market in Jordan. The program seeks to eliminate this problem by further stimulating the economy, provide for Jordanian host families and continue to provide free housing for refugees.

Program description:

  • The NRC has been providing Jordanians in Irbid with financial aid to finish their properties, bringing them up to basic standard to provide homes for refugee families
  • In return, landlords host a refugee family rent free, as the rent is paid in advance with the money provided for completion. The investment made in the completion of the construction is roughly equivalent to 12-18 months of rent payments.
  • The landlord can choose the length of period to rent to refugees, typically from one to one and a half years. The longer the period, the more funding is granted.
  • Potential multistorey buildings should be no more than 1.5-2km far away from the services any refugee needs (shops, schools or hospitals). The property must have proper ventilation, show no deflection in the ceiling or mould on the walls.
  • Available funding depends on the size and situation of the property, spanning from JD1000 for a one bedroom apartment to JD5600 for a four bedroom unit. Each bedroom can accommodate up to 5 people (so a four bedroom unit can host 20 refugees).
  • Before refugee families move in, they meet with their Jordanian landlords at least once.

Impact on targeted population:

  • The housing units are providing secure rent-free accommodation to more than 8,700 vulnerable Syrian refugees.
  •  NRC is currently operational in 54 local communities in northern Jordan and is expanding operations into new areas. More than 8,000 Syrian refugees meeting vulnerability criteria are currently on waiting lists for programme

Impact on host community:

  • NRC has supported Jordanian landlords to bring more than 3,800 new housing units on the market positively impacting their local communities.
  • The project serves as an economic stimulator to the area affected by the Syrian influx, providing employment to local workers to complete the house.
  • With access to financial capital, Jordanian landlords are able to complete something that would otherwise not have been finished in the short term: traditionally, Jordanians live in partially completed multistorey buildings. They invest in the construction of the upper storeys over a long period of time, as money becomes available, finishing construction ahead of the marriage of a male family member.

Conditions required:

Local housing system with partially completed multistorey buildings.


The Jordanian Times article

Our impact

  • 3700

    refugees have better access to education and livelihood opportunities

  • 40

    countries in which our partner NGOs are implementing solutions

  • 490

    refugee children benefit from mathematics, english, art and sports classes

  • 700

    women can now support their families

  • 650

    refugees have access to critical healthcare and safety information

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We’ve accomplished so much, but the growing urgency of refugee issues in cities means we have a lot more to do and we can’t do it alone. Support the refugee communities that need it most.

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