Icelandic residents can now offer housing to Ukrainian refugees arriving in the country via an online portal the government has set up. RÚV reports that around 150 offers have been submitted since the portal was opened yesterday. One of Iceland’s largest unions, VR, has offered four of its summer houses as temporary accommodation for refugees.
Icelandic authorities expect to receive up to 2,000 refugees from Ukraine, but have underlined that the number is only an estimate. Over 100 have already applied for international protection since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began two weeks ago. The chairman of Alþingi’s Refugee Committee has stated that finding housing will be one of the biggest challenges of the project. In addition to the 150 offers made through the online portal, the government is in dialogue with municipalities across the country that have declared interest in receiving refugees.
VR Union has announced that they will offer four summer houses near Hveragerði, South Iceland, as temporary housing for refugees, along with making a monetary donation of ISK 42,500 [$42,500; €38,300] to charities responding to the crisis. The union has urged the government to address housing issues in Iceland and encouraged other unions to lend a helping hand to refugees.