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While most Afghan refugees in the Detroit area have been settled, some still seek permanent housing

Naval Air Station Sigonella Command Master Chief Anna Wood assists an evacuee disembarking a U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender, Aug. 22, 2021.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kegan Kay
Department of Defense

Most of the 1,700 Afghans who've arrived in Michigan between September and March have been permanently housed. But the Office of Global Michigan estimates that about 35% of the newcomers who ended up in the greater Detroit area are still in temporary housing units like hotels.

Kelli Dobner is the Chief Advancement Officer at Samaritas, one of the resettlement agencies working in the state. She said Samaritas searches for lower-income properties that are in good condition.

“There is a checklist that we go through a house study checklist, if you will, that that we have to go through to make sure it's it's a safe environment, if, you know, things are up to code, it's a suitable living experience for for families,” she said.

Dobner said the agency focuses on areas that are accessible to jobs, schools, and healthcare without the need for a car. The Office of Global Michigan says nearly all of the Afghan evacuees who ended up in Ingham, Kent, Kalamazoo, and Washtenaw counties have been placed in permanent housing.

Laura Herberg is a reporter for 101.9 WDET, telling stories about people inhabiting the Detroit region and the issues that affect us here.
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