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More federal housing support for asylum claimants

  • Immigration is crucial to both Canada’s short-term economic recovery following the pandemic, and to its long-term growth. Canada’s multi-year levels plan positions Canada to address current labour shortages—including in construction industries— and attract new skilled workers to help build our economy moving forward.

  • Through the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP), the federal government provides funding to provincial and municipal governments, on a cost-sharing basis, to address extraordinary interim housing pressures resulting from increased volumes of asylum claimants since 2017. In fiscal year 2022–2023, over $164 million in payments were made to cover eligible costs under IHAP, including approximately:

    • $88 million to the City of Toronto
    • $67 million to the Province of Quebec
    • $9 million to the City of Ottawa
  • The Government of Canada funds settlement services that help newcomer permanent residents settle and adapt to life in Canada. These services include information and referrals, language training, assistance finding employment that matches newcomers’ skills and education, and help integrating into Canadian society. For fiscal year 2023–2024, the government is investing $1.076 billion in settlement funding, including over $334 million in the Greater Toronto Area.

  • In addition, the Resettlement Assistance Program provides immediate and essential support services and income support to assist in meeting refugees’ resettlement needs, through contributions to service provider organizations. These services include, but are not limited to, reception services, assistance with accommodations, links to essential federal and provincial programs, and life-skills training. For the fiscal year 2023–2024, the government is investing $310 million in resettlement funding, including over $34 million in the Greater Toronto Area.

  • The Government of Canada is dedicated to working with provinces and municipalities to implement permanent housing solutions. In April 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a partnership with the City of Toronto worth more than $1.3 billion to renew and repair more than 58,000 affordable housing units managed by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. The investment is part of the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, which provides low-cost loans and financial contributions to support and develop affordable housing that is energy efficient and accessible.

  • Through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, the Government of Canada has also committed nearly $4 billion over 9 years to help tackle homelessness across the country. This includes over $290 million allocated for Toronto between 2019–2020 and 2023–2024.

  • IRCC implemented a temporary public policy (TPP) on November 16, 2022, that provides asylum claimants with timely access to open work permits, allowing them to enter Canada’s labour market sooner and provide for themselves while they await a decision on their asylum claim. From the launch of the public policy to May 31, 2023, IRCC has issued over 53,000 initial work permits for asylum claimants. Providing asylum claimants with access to a work permit earlier on in the process will allow them to access employment opportunities, reducing their dependence on provincial and territorial social assistance and other supports.

Link:, dated July 18, 2023 3:59 pm

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