Country Report: Housing Last updated: 25/03/21


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 also 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 the rent on their own place. 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 available social housing, the insufficient financial support foreseen for paying the rent, high requirements and criteria in rental contracts and discrimination exposes many beneficiaries of protection to very vulnerable economic conditions 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. Also, even with the mediation of NGOs, asylum seekers face serious discrimination in renting apartments. Some of them face homelessness and are accommodated in homeless shelters.[2]

A report published by the NGO Provivienda underlines the obstacles that third-country nationals (i.e. including migrants, asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection) face in accessing housing and renting apartments, i.e. the racism and xenophobia existing in the real estate-sector.[3]



[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] Provivienda,¿Se alquila? Racismo y xenofobia en el mercado del alquiler, October 2020, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/36aI7HF.

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