Note El Mercurio - Almost half of the immigrants rent without requirements, and one in five trusts little or nothing in their landlord

December 17, 2018
Communications Colunga Foundation

Valentina González
The Mercury

Study of the Jesuit Service to Migrants and Colunga investigated in this uncertain housing reality.

Friends, relatives and the nears in general are the main source of information for immigrants who, newly arrived in Chile, face a difficult question: Where to live, in a new and unknown country? The answer, for the majority (53.2%), is a leased piece. For 27%, meanwhile, the option is to leave as an associate.

These data are part of what was collected by a study driven by the Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM) and the Colunga Foundation, with the objective of making an x-ray of the housing situation of foreigners and identify the main vulnerabilities.

With such foci, an investigation was elaborated that included the testimonies of 272 foreigners in Santiago and Antofagasta, in addition to the visions of relevant actors that work with this group of the population, such as civil society organizations and municipalities.

Different realities

There are nuances in how is the access to the first house that live in Chile, according to the nationality of foreigners. Most Peruvians rent one room (66.7%), while Venezuelans, meanwhile, have the highest percentage of affiliation (30.6%).

What is transversal is the informality in which the rent occurs. 46.8% of immigrants say that no requirement is required. And 17% - about one in five - ensures that you trust "little or nothing" in your landlord.

Few formal options

Among other conclusions, which were presented this week at a table attended by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, municipalities such as Santiago and Renca, and foundations such as TECHO, the study identified that there are few real -and formal- alternatives for newcomers.

To access a rental subsidy, for example, foreigners must be in a regular situation, with RUT and permanent permanence in Chile, requirements that can take months to get those who arrived in the country without their migration status already resolved.

"We are working with some local governments to generate 'good landlord stamps', because we have seen that the options in the informal sector, at least in Santiago, are many. So, the question is how to encourage what already exists, but with better conditions and generate a formalization, "said Michelle Víquez, social director of the SJM.

"We also think the role of the private ones is very important. Migrants pay and sometimes higher prices; they have the capacity to pay, but sometimes they do not have the means to prove it (...) It is a market that could be exploited, "he added.

40,1%of the respondents remained six months or less in their first home.

19,3% He said he lived there less than a month. Among Venezuelans, the figure reaches 32.3%.

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