Country Report: Housing Last updated: 10/07/24


The three-phase reception and integration process is available for all persons who ask for asylum, even in the case they are granted with international or subsidiary protection during the 18-month period. In case a person receives a negative response during the process, usually the person is allowed to complete at least the first period within the reception phase. In any case, the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration must give permission for the rejected applicant to continue the on-going phase and the following ones, also accessing financial support foreseen within the second and third phases. It should however be noted that usually applicants receive their asylum decision after 1 year or more from the moment of the asylum claim.

Therefore, beneficiaries follow the same process as described in Reception Conditions: Criteria and Restrictions. They are hosted within the asylum reception centres during the first 6 months. The typologies of reception places vary depending on the institution or entity that manages it: the system relies on places within big reception centres and apartments, some reception places are in urban neighbourhoods while other are located in rural areas. The different types of available accommodation also differ from the point of view of provided services and spaces.

After this first phase of accommodation inside the reception system, beneficiaries are granted financial support to help them pay rent in private accommodation. Due to the rigidity which characterises the Spanish three-phase reception process, they must complete their stay inside the reception places in order to have access to the following foreseen financial support for private housing, also because the participation to initial integration activities developed during the first reception phase is considered is well evaluated and relevant at the time of asking for other financial support available in the last 2 phases.

This factor obviously causes obstacles for those beneficiaries that can either pay their own housing since the beginning or for those who have relatives or personal contacts that can host them. In case they decide to go and live by themselves, they would be renouncing to the entire assistance and support foreseen under the reception system.

The lack of social housing alternatives, the insufficient financial support allocated for rent expenses, high requirements (i.e. payslips, high quantities for deposit, etc.) and criteria in rental contracts and discrimination exposes many beneficiaries of protection to economic vulnerability and in some cases leads to destitution.[1] Although many NGOs who work with refugees and asylum seekers during the first phase try to mediate between refugees and house holders at the time they start looking for private housing, there is not a specialised agency or intermediate service for helping beneficiaries finding a home. Even in cases in which NGOs act as intermediaries, asylum seekers face serious discrimination in renting apartments. Some of them face homelessness and are accommodated in homeless shelters.[2] The NGO CEAR Euskadi denounced the discrimination that asylum seekers face in renting flats, and that 7 out of 10 real estate-agencies admit to implement explicit forms of discrimination, while the other 3 apply more subtle forms of it.[3]

Such challenges continued also in 2023. The lack of houses for rent and high prices in certain cities (i.e. Zaragoza) are also an impediment to the integration of refugees.[4] Similarly, the lack of sufficient public housing for persons at risk of exclusion has been described as another barrier that asylum seekers and refugees face in Spain.[5] The lack of private and public housing options makes refugees dependent to the asylum reception system while limiting their opportunities to have an independent life.[6] In its annual report on refugees in Spain and Europe, the NGO ‘CEAR’ recommended to design public policies to fight against housing exclusion and to foster access to housing to asylum seekers and refugees. The organisation also recommended to increase the stock of social housing and to reserve a percentage of it to refugees, as well as to implement tax incentives for landlords who decide to rent a flat to asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and statelessness persons.[7]

A report launched by the NGOs Provivienda and Andalucía Acoge underlines the obstacles and the discrimination that racialised persons face in accessing housing. It also indicates that access to housing in Spain is the field in which persons face more racial discrimination.[8]

Following the Government’s announcement of an upcoming law on the right to a state-sponsored housing, around 50 stakeholders among NGOs, trade unions, and other groups joined to promote the “Initiative for a Law guaranteeing the Right to Housing”.[9] The law was approved in May 2023.[10] Among its objectives, it aims at supporting groups facing significant challenges in accessing housing and at fostering the use of public housing.

In March 2021, the Autonomous Community of Valencia created the Commission of Migration and Housing, with the aim of studying the problems faced by persons in situation of vulnerability, especially migrant and racialized population, to access housing in the Comunitat Valenciana.[11] A report published in November 2022 by the same Commission, together with the organisation València Acull and the Observatorio del Hábitat y la Segregación Urbana (OHSU) underlines that the 86% of migrants in the Autonomous Community of Valencia faces problems in accessing a decent house, mainly due to rent prices and the bureaucratic problems in the registration of the residency.[12]

A report published by the Municipality of Barcelona in November 2021 brought to light the problem of “property racism”; among the report’s findings, resulted that as 9 out of 10 agencies admit to deny renting houses to persons due to ethnic discrimination.[13]

Following a visit carried out in Spain, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights called on the Government to improve the human rights of migrants and asylum seekers, especially in relation to accessing social rights, including housing and health.[14]

At the end of 2022, the MISSM, together with Santander bank and Accenture, launched the ‘TECHO Platform’, that is a tool for asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international and temporary protection to look for apartments for rent.[15]

In occasion of the 2023 International day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the organisation Accem warned about the obstacles that migrants and asylum seekers face in renting an apartment.[16]

In December 2023 Caritas expressed concern on the housing precariousness that migrants face in Spain.[17]

Autonomous Communities have (or should put in place) programs for the assistance to the autonomous and independent life of young adults (some of these programs start when they are 17 until the age of 21 or 24). Accem manages some of them in different autonomous communities (i.e. Castilla La Mancha, Murcia, Aragón).




[1] Provivienda, ‘Una casa como refugio: itinerarios residenciales de las personas solicitantes de protección internacional en Madrid y Vigo’, 28 October 2019, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/BtR8WUN.

[2] El País, ‘La red de albergues de Madrid deja en la calle a familias con niños’, 18 November 2018, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/2PAw8Nb; Público, ‘Varios solicitantes de asilo denuncian que España les deja fuera del sistema de acogida’, 16 May 2018, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/2AUvKQr.

[3] Cadena Ser, ‘Siete de cada diez inmobiliarias admiten implementar formas explicitas de discriminación’, 31 October 2021, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3PF63H3

[4] Heraldo, ‘La falta de vivienda de alquiler en Aragón frena la integración de los refugiados de Ucrania y de otros países’, 31 July 2022, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3wiImh6.

[5] Diario de Navarra, ‘Refugiados que no encuentran casa en Navarra’, 28 September 2022, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3HNoOYK.

[6] La Gaceta de Salamanca, ‘Las reticencias a alquilarles un piso atan a los refugiados a los centros de acogida’, 25 September 2022, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3j4Jlxo.

[7] CEAR, ‘Informe 2023: Las personas refugiadas en España y Europa’, June 2023, p. 142, available at: https://tinyurl.com/bdhucwst.

[8] Provivienda, Andalucía Acoge, ‘Discriminación racial en el ámbito de la vivienda y los asentamientos informales’, March 2022, edited by the Ministerio de Igualdad, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3ceNuMh

[9] UGT, UGT promueve la Iniciativa por una ley que garantice el derecho a la vivienda, 17 February 2021, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3sCBTKG; Afectados por la Hipoteca, Manifiesto de la Iniciativa por una Ley que garantice el Derecho a la Vivienda, 18 February 2021, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/2XPGxK7.

[10] La Moncloa, ‘Ley de vivienda: ¿qué regula y cómo funciona?’, 25 May 2023, available at: https://tinyurl.com/2u3ps9p5.

[11] El Periòdic, La Comunitat estudia los problemas de acceso a la vivienda de la población migrante y racializada, 16 March 2021, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3j9OZw0.

[12] Levante, ‘El 86 % de los migrantes tiene problemas para acceder a una vivienda digna’, 2 November 2022, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3XCgUqv.

[13] Ajuntament de Barcelona, Direcció de Serveis de Drets de Ciutadania, ‘Discriminació a la carta Exclusió per motius ètnics del mercat de lloguer d’habitatge de Barcelona’, November 2021, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3sHVds7.

[14] Council of Europe, ‘Spain should advance social rights, better guarantee freedoms of expression and assembly and improve human rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants’, 29 November 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3GgzJbF; Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe, ‘Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe – Dunja Mijatović – Report following her visit to Spain from 21 to 25 November 2022’, 13 April 2023, available at: https://bit.ly/3u4SJan.

[15] Ministerio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones, ‘Inclusión participa en la plataforma solidaria ‘Techo’, un proyecto piloto de búsqueda de vivienda para refugiados’, 15 October 2022, available at: https://tinyurl.com/3khy6hyc; TECHO Platform, available at: https://tinyurl.com/mwd6tsxp.

[16] Europa Press, ‘Accem advierte de las “trabas” que encuentran los migrantes y refugiados para alquilar una casa’, 21 March 2023, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3UacKVG.

[17] Aragón Noticias, ‘La “precariedad habitacional” y la desprotección de los migrantes preocupan a Cáritas Diocesanas’, 29 December 2023, available at: https://tinyurl.com/3uk52uph.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation