Housing for Asylum seekers in New York 

12 Housing for Asylum Seekers in New York:Best Picks

Are you an asylum seeker who has just arrived in New York City,  Looking for shelter, food, and other forms of support?

As a newly arrived asylum seeker in New York City, you have access to free and confidential assistance through the resources on Housing for Asylum Seekers in New York provided below.

Every year, the people of the United States extend a warm welcome to thousands of individuals who have been compelled to escape violence and persecution.

These individuals find refuge in the safety and freedom that America offers, having persevered through extraordinary challenges and hardships.

Asylum Seekers and immigrants suffer from some of the highest rates of workplace violations, injury, homelessness, and death. 

Asylum Seeker Resources in New York provides critical services and resources  Most importantly, they empower Asylum Seekers to organize around key issues that impact the community.

Asylum Seeker Resources in New York connect individuals with Housing services and resources, including but not limited to:

  • Health insurance enrollment 
  • Healthcare services and appointments
  • Mental health counseling
  • School enrollment
  • Child services
  • Immigration legal services
  • IDNYC (Municipal Identification) enrollment

Who is an Asylum Seeker 

An asylum seeker is an individual who has left their home country and is in search of safety and refuge from persecution and severe human rights abuses in a different country. 

However, they have not yet obtained official recognition as a refugee and are currently awaiting a decision regarding their asylum request. The act of seeking asylum is considered a fundamental human right.

In summary,  an asylum-seeker refers to an individual who has requested refuge but is still awaiting the processing of their request. Approximately one million people seek asylum annually. 

According to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), there were approximately 5.4 million individuals worldwide awaiting a decision on their asylum claims by the end of 2021. (To access the latest statistics and additional information, visit the UNHCR’s annual Asylum Trends report).

National asylum systems are established to determine eligibility for international protection. However, during large-scale refugee movements caused by conflict or violence, it may not always be feasible or necessary to conduct individual interviews with every asylum-seeker crossing a border. These groups are often referred to as “prima facie” refugees.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center is a central place where newly arrived asylum seekers can go for free and confidential help accessing important services and resources that will help them integrate and thrive in New York City. 


To be eligible for services and referrals, you must:

  • Provide U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement paperwork.
  • Currently live in New York City.
  • Make an appointment with the Center.

The Center is open to anyone who meets those three requirements. 

The List of Housing for asylum seekers in New York 

Housing for asylum seekers in New York involves providing temporary shelter and support services to individuals and families who have fled their home countries due to persecution, violence, or other forms of harm. 

These individuals are seeking protection and asylum in the United States.

If you recently arrived in New York City and are seeking asylum, the following City resources are available.

Government Assistance 

In New York, asylum seekers may be eligible for certain government assistance programs to access housing and other essential services. 

One of the primary programs is the Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) program, which provides financial assistance to eligible individuals and families. 

You can find more information about the RCA program in the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). 

(Refugee Cash Assistance” (RCA) is a federal initiative designed to offer financial aid. 

This program specifically aims to assist refugees, Cuban/Haitian entrants, and asylees in New York by providing them with cash assistance. 

The primary goal is to facilitate their journey toward self-sufficiency at the earliest opportunity. 

RCA operates as a publicly administered program overseen by the SSD (State Social Services Department), and it caters to the housing needs of refugees, entrants, and asylees residing in the designated areas).

Nonprofit Organizations

Several nonprofit organizations in New York work to provide housing and support to asylum seekers. Here are a few examples:

  • The International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  • Catholic Charities
  • Coalicion Mexicana 
  • New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE)
  • Mixteca Organization 
  • La Colmena 
  • RDJ Refugee Shelter 

The International Rescue Committee (IRC): 

The IRC has offices in New York City and provides comprehensive assistance to refugees and asylum seekers, including housing placement and support. 

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) offers chances for refugees, asylees, individuals who have experienced human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to flourish in the United States. 

Collaborating with governmental entities, civil society organizations, and local volunteers, the IRC assists them in utilizing their prior experiences as valuable assets in their new communities. 

Whether it’s in New York or other locations nationwide, the IRC supports them in the process of rebuilding their lives.

Visit the IRC website(https://www.rescue.org/) for more information.

Catholic Charities: 

Catholic Charities operates various programs to assist refugees and asylum seekers, including housing placement and case management services. 

With a history of serving others dating back to 1917, Catholic Charities dedicates itself to addressing the challenges faced by New Yorkers, regardless of their religious affiliation. 

Their assistance extends to various individuals in need, such as neglected children, homeless families, immigrants & refugees, individuals with special needs, and elderly individuals experiencing hunger. 

You can find more information on their website Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York.

You can also check out these Asylum Seekers Organizations: 

Coalicion Mexicana 

The Mexican Coalition for the Empowerment of Youth and Families has been supporting the Latina community in New York. Each year they help more than 18,000 families. Most of them are immigrants and essential workers. They offer services in Brooklyn, Bronx, and  Manhattan.

Services: Legal Services, Health Services, Information/Referrals & direct assistance and other services. Visit Website.

Mixteca Organization 

Mixteca’s mission is to empower the Mexican and Latin-American immigrants of the New York area by providing them access to services that enhance their quality of life and will allow them to reach sustainable social and economic development. 

They offer a variety of programs and services that respond to the specific needs of immigrant families and aim to build a supportive environment for the growing Mexican and Latin-American immigrant community.

Services: Information/Referrals & direct assistance. Visit Website.

New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE)

New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) creates pathways to success and empowerment for essential immigrant workers.

Services: Workplace Safety Certifications (OSHA, SST), Skills Training, Worker Rights Education and Support, Workforce Development. Visit Website.

La Colmena 

La Colmena is a nonprofit community-based organization founded in 2014.

They work with day laborers, domestic workers, and other low-wage immigrant workers in Staten Island through organizing, education, culture, and equitable economic development.

Services: Workforce development. Visit their website.

RDJ Refugee Shelter

The RDJ Refugee Shelter is currently one of the only shelters in New York City specifically for asylum seekers and refugees experiencing homelessness.

They provide the holistic care, support, advocacy, and resources needed to thrive in their new home. Visit Website

City and State Initiatives

New York City and the state of New York have initiatives in place to support asylum seekers and refugees. 

These initiatives often involve collaboration with nonprofit organizations and service providers.

Here are some resources to explore:

  • NYC Department of Social Services (DSS)
  • New York State Office for New Americans (ONA)
  • NYC Department of Social Services (DSS)

NYC Department of Social Services (DSS)

DSS offers a range of services to individuals and families, including housing assistance programs. They have specific programs targeting refugees and asylum seekers. 

Visit their website for more information: NYC DSS – Refugee & Asylee Programs.

New York State Office for New Americans (ONA)

ONA provides services to assist immigrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, with their integration into New York communities. 

Established in 2012, the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) was formed to extend assistance to immigrants and assist them in realizing their aspirations.

They have resources related to housing. You can find more information on the ONA website: ONA – Housing 


Housing for asylum seekers in New York is an important aspect of providing support and protection to individuals who have fled their home countries in search of safety and refuge. 

Through a combination of government assistance programs, nonprofit organizations, and city and state initiatives, efforts are made to offer temporary shelter, resources, and services to asylum seekers as they navigate the asylum process. 

While the specific housing options and availability may vary, the collective aim is to help asylum seekers rebuild their lives and work towards self-sufficiency in their new communities. 

It is crucial to continue advocating for and implementing policies and support systems that ensure the well-being and dignity of asylum seekers.

It is also important to note that the availability and specific details of housing options for asylum seekers in New York may vary based on individual circumstances and the current policies and resources available. Check out the 33 Local Banks With Safe Deposit Boxes.

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