By Caz Coleman.
The Community Placement Network (CPN) is an initiative of the Australian Homestay Network (AHN) to offer transitional (six weeks only) accommodation to eligible asylum seekers exiting immigration detention on a Bridging visa E (BVE).
Since its establishment on 8 May 2012, CPN has accommodated over 220 eligible BVE clients nationally.
Feedback from CPN hosts on their experience has been highly positive, specifically on the opportunity to learn about different cultures and the rewards of assisting asylum seekers with orientating and establishing themselves in the community.
Many hosts have been able to assist their guests with the search for medium-term accommodation, access to free English language classes, employment, and voluntary work.
Most BVE holders have moved on from their CPN accommodation prior to or at the conclusion of the placement, having found accommodation closer to work opportunities, friends, or community links. Some have entered a private board arrangement with their former CPN host.
Building on its initial success, the CPN will expand its host pool on a national basis to include increased regional CPN capacity.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a CPN host, you may wish to visit the CPN website at www.homestaynetwork.org/cpn for additional information and application processes.