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Housing refugees When solidarity meets red tape

Hundreds of individuals in Switzerland have come forward to offer accommodation for refugees, but they are still waiting for the opportunity. (SRF/ 

In response to the current refugee and migrant crisis, the Swiss Refugee Council received more than 500 requests from people offering to host refugees in their homes. But until now, only nine families have become hosts.

Among the families who are still waiting for their request to be processed is the Schlup family from Biel. They volunteered to accommodate some refugees in their home out of solidarity. But when registering their interest with the authorities, they were faced with bureaucratic hurdles that have kept them waiting. 

Despite cantons and municipalities often complaining about the lack of accommodation for refugees, they are also unable to respond properly to this wave of solidarity. They mainly lack the means to monitor and evaluate accommodation in private homes because of the logistical challenges that this would pose.

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