Vienna, Austria – Sitting on a sofa in their Vienna flat, they laughed as they planned their night out together.
Although the conversation sounded like it could have been any exchange among flatmates, this flat-share was slightly unusual.
Uche Daniel, 25, is a refugee from Nigeria. He had met his Austrian flatmates – Patricia Hartl and Simone Fidler – two weeks earlier through Flüchtlinge Willkommen (Refugees Welcome), an initiative inviting asylum seekers and refugees to stay in people’s spare rooms instead of in mass accommodation centres.
“I wonder why it hasn’t been done before,” said 24-year-old Simone. “It just makes sense. People are having to sleep in tents while there are so many rooms free.”
Like many European countries, Austria is currently experiencing a crisis in asylum housing.