Appropriate housing for refugees in Western countries is a major contributor to successful resettlement. Agencies responsible for refugee resettlement often find themselves contemplating whether to 1) house refugees close to each other (example, ‘ethnic enclaves’) or 2) disperse refugees to facilitate acculturation. We describe our community-based participatory research including in-depth interviews and ethnography with a Somali refugee community in New Zealand. We discuss four themes related to housing and the dilemma of where refugees should be housed. Themes included: the perception that housing was inadequate; a preference for housing to be located closer to services and family support; personal experiences of racism and discrimination, and a desire for improved consultation in relation to housing matters. We also describe methods for preserving the contextual detail of such complex issues for both policy and community development.
Key words: Refugee, housing, policy, contextualizing, community-based.
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