Ukrainian refugees encountering problems finding jobs and places to stay in Latvia

  • 2022-05-23
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The biggest problems for the Ukrainian war refugees who have arrived in Latvia at the moment are their involvement in the labor market and the insufficient supply of housing, according to Linda Jakobsone, a member of the board of the association Lets Help Refugees.

She acknowledged that in the first 90 days since the start of active hostilities in Ukraine, the Latvian state and the non-governmental sector as a whole have done a lot to help refugees arriving in Latvia from Ukraine. However, there are currently concerns about how these issues will be addressed after the 90th day since their arrival to Latvia. "There are a lot of different issues here that we would like clarification on," Jakobsone said.

Asked what these issues are, she highlighted the inability of many Ukrainians to enter the Latvian labor market due to objective considerations, as well as the lack of access to housing. The representative of the association emphasized that a large part of the refugees are children, mothers with very young children, seniors and people with disabilities. "It is possible that some of them will be able to enter the labor market, but most of them will not," Jakobsone said.

Regarding the unavailability of housing, she explained that the market as a whole is limited, and that people with vacant housing were not very accommodating to Ukrainian refugees, as they wanted to rent out their property for a longer period, and require a security deposit at the time of the contract.

"While these are very good decisions by the government on how to deal with housing issues, at the moment, given that the 90th day is approaching very fast, they have not yet been fully implemented and properly communicated to all parties involved - not to persons who have potential apartments to rent, neither to Ukrainian civilians in Ukrainian, nor to all other parties, such as the non-governmental sector, so that we can help people,'' she explained.

As reported, after the end of the initial 90-day support period, Ukrainian refugees will not be left out in the cold without support, as assistance will be provided through other mechanisms, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said earlier.