A conflict is on their doorstep. What if we opened ours?
Since February 2022, a conflict is raging on the doorsteps of Ukrainians. The conflict is forcing them to leave their homes and their country. From 1 June to 1 September, Brussels opened its doors to some 8,429 Ukrainian refugees.
To cope with this situation, Steve, Nicolas and dozens of other Brussels residents decided to open their doors (and also their hearts) by becoming hosts. The Region accompanies and supports them on a daily basis.
To convince other Brussels residents to take the plunge, five hosts have chosen to open their doors a little more and share their views. They explain their daily lives with the Ukrainians, the assistance provided by the Region, their experiences and their impressions. The feeling of having given a lot but also of having received a lot.
Like Anne, Karel or Stephan, open your door and become a host.
Hosting guests in your home
Why would you host people for a few months?
To enable your guest to develop new projects and to look for a housing solution.
To help your guest integrate in our society.
To discover another culture and share
How do I register my offer?
Easy. Just register your offer on the BeMyGuest.brussels platform.
- You can register your accommodation offer in your own secure area on this platform.
- Your municipality or its Public Centre for Social Welfare (PCSW) will suggest a guest to you.
This means you will not be directly put into contact with this person/these people. You will first talk to the municipality or the PCSW, who will remain your intermediary during the entire period you have a guest, also for searching a new housing solution.
You will not have to undertake any steps with the guest, that is the role of the PCSW.
How should the cohabitation be organised?
A clear framework makes living together easier. There are tools to achieve this:
The temporary accommodation agreement
This document defines, among other things, what areas are made available and for how long as well
as how the agreement can be terminated. A three-month period is recommended, but it is up to
The maximum financial contribution to household expenses is also regulated:
- 150 euros/month per adult (older than 18)
- 50 euros/month per child (younger than 18)
This does not include food costs. Whether or not you will organise shared meals is up to you.
The compensation can be paid directly into your bank account by the PCSW, provided that the guest
agrees to this deduction from their social assistance income.
The cohabitation charter
The cohabitation charter accompanies communal life in shared accommodation.The aim is to foster communication from the outset and define together what is important for everyone, through cohabitation rules. Respect for everyone's lifestyle and life rhythm is in fact the key to a successful cohabitation.
What kind of support can I count on during the hosting?
Identity documents and the children's schooling
The granting of social assistance
The PCSW of your municipality
Health or mental health problems
The Brussels Orientation Center
French or Dutch lessons
Social advancement or social cohesion
Other aid is also available on this website, for instance with regard to translation or the social mediator.
Each time you have a question about the hosting and about your relationship with the guest, you can call the toll-free number 0800/40.400.
A presentation video explaining how hosting guests in your home works
This presentation explains the guidelines of the hosting model.
FAQ Host family
Your accommodation must be situated in the Brussels Capital Region and must be available for at least 15 days. You can offer an entire dwelling or make part of your dwelling available. Any type of building is accepted: it can be a house or an office building redesigned for housing. It must be accessible at all times to the person or people accommodated during the accommodation period.
Your dwelling must be safe and healthy: in a structurally stable building, not affected by permanent humidity or parasites, with windows offering natural light in the living rooms, ventilated, equipped with functional and safe electrical wiring and heating.
The access to sanitary installations must include at least one toilet, a washbasin and a bath/shower (with hot water).
It must also be possible to lock the room with a key, so as to ensure privacy.
Your accommodation will not be formally inspected. However, the person or people you host will have to be domiciled on the address of the accommodation you offer, and a neighbourhood police officer or an official authorised by the municipal government will verify the domiciliation on the spot. During their visit, they will check whether or not the accommodation offered is safe, healthy and adapted to the guest(s).
The platform www.bemyguest.brussels registers accommodation offers that are available for at least 15 days and at most 18 months. The accommodation period cannot exceed the validity period of the temporary protection status granted to displaced people coming from Ukraine (which is currently until 4 March 2023).
The procedure to end your accommodation offer is explained below.
By the day the guest(s) move in at the latest, you must have taken out a fire insurance for the entire occupied dwelling as well as a home insurance for the furniture, if you make any available.
Please contact your fire insurance and liability insurance company to inform them of the temporary accommodation. Some companies will agree to extend the coverage of the insurances to the temporary protection beneficiaries without this requiring any modification or supplement. If this is refused, the guest(s) will have to take out separate insurances.
The guest(s) must also take out a fire insurance at their own expense so as to cover their liability.
The municipal PCSWs offer insurances at a reduced rate.
If the offered accommodation is situated in part of your main dwelling, we will ask for your consent so that the municipal authorities can verify only your personal criminal record (those of your family members will not be consulted). If you do not consent to this, this verification cannot take place and consequently, your accommodation offer cannot be approved.
You also have to commit to ending your accommodation offer and alerting the municipal administration if you can no longer certify that none of the adult members of your household living at the accommodation address has a criminal record.
The municipal administrations and the local public centres for social welfare (PCSWs) will use the platform www.bemyguest.brussels to offer a place to stay to people coming from Ukraine who have obtained temporary protection. The municipal officials and the PCSWs will attempt to match the profiles of the guest(s) optimally with your offer and any specific demands you might have. For instance, they will take into account the capacity of your dwelling and your wish (or refusal) to host children or people with reduced mobility.
Therefore, you will not be able to make the selection, but the municipal administration or the PCSW will notify you of the guest's/guest's profile(s) before they move in, and you can revoke the accommodation offer at any time if there is a problem (see below).
The displaced people coming from Ukraine and looking for housing cannot access the regional database directly either. Only municipal and PCSW officials, as well as the Brussels Housing officials, can consult the offers registered on www.bemyguest.brussels.
So as to be able to receive social benefits and to facilitate their administrative procedures, the temporary protection beneficiaries coming from Ukraine must have a legal registered address situated in Belgium. The guest(s) must therefore be domiciled at the address of the accommodation. Their domicile address will match the address of their temporary accommodation location, but their residential address will remain that of their principal residence in Ukraine.
So as to maintain your social rights, the municipal administration will register the guest(s) with a specific "temporary protection" housing code, which makes it possible to separate them from your household during the accommodation period. Both households will therefore be registered at the same address separately, and your financial situation (child benefit, unemployment benefit, etc.) will not change.
We do not expect any specific personal commitment. We will only ask you to make sure you update your offer on the platform www.bemyguest.brussels if you wish to temporarily pause it (when you are on vacation, for instance) or to revoke it once and for all.