3. Housing

Jun 2019
  1. Housing is a human right;
  2. Canada’s affordable housing crisis is impacting all medium to low-income Canadians, including immigrants and refugees. The impact of building further affordable housing through the National Housing Strategy will take time and does not address the crisis of today;
  3. Social assistance levels allocations are not adequate given the high cost of rents. The need for affordable housing outstrips what is presently available;
  4. The lack of shelter and dedicated services geared to arriving refugee claimants is creating a crisis within existing shelter systems and is increasing homelessness;
  5. Refugee claimants face absolute homelessness upon their arrival. Presently, refugee claimants are not eligible for the same supports as government-sponsored or privately sponsored refugees;
  6. Safe and affordable housing is critical to the successful settlement of refugee families and individuals;
  7. The CCR passed Res.: 5 , Nov 2005 on housing;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR:

  1. Call on all levels of governments responsible for housing and settlement to allocate more resources for accessible and affordable housing and to review the provision of adequate income and social assistance levels to facilitate access to safe, secure and affordable housing for all refugee claimants.
  2. Urge the inclusion of refugees and refugee claimants in the development and allocation of affordable housing projects.
  3. Encourage all levels of government to fund the development of appropriate short-term housing solutions for arriving refugee claimants, which include settlement services.

5. The right to access to safe, secure and affordable housing

Nov 2005
  1. Safe, secure and affordable housing is a resource that plays a critical role in determining overall health and well-being and provides a base from which immigrants and refugees can seek employment, re-establish family relationships and make connections with the wider community;
  2. Immigrants and refugees are facing absolute and hidden homelessness problems in Canada;
  3. UNHCR Reception and Integration Handbook, ch. 2.8 (A Place to Call Home) outlines guidelines;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Write to all levels of government responsible for housing and immigration settlement to allocate more resources for affordable housing and to review the provision of adequate income and social assistance levels to facilitate access to safe, secure and affordable housing.
  2. Promote the best service guidelines in the area of housing developed by the UNHCR, ensuring that governments and service providers commit to the housing guidelines, and provide the support and resources needed to enable those guidelines to be maintained.

4. Homelessness

Dec 1999
  1. There is a national crisis of homelessness and lack of affordable housing;
  2. Immigrants, refugees and visible minorities face significant racism in the private housing market;
  3. In some large cities in Canada, newcomers make up a large portion of the shelter population;
  4. We deplore the "passing of the buck" by which different levels of government deny that newcomers' housing issues are their responsibility;
  5. Across the country income assistance rates are unrealistic in light of housing costs;
  6. There are many problems in accessing income support services across the country;
  7. We applaud the new southern Ontario project of issuing ID to assist claimants at port of entries in accessing services;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Write to the Federal Coordinator on Homelessness urging her to pay particular attention to the challenges facing homeless newcomers and especially newcomer families;
  2. Communicate with the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada and join with them in calling on the federal and provincial governments to immediately start increasing the supply of social housing;
  3. Write to CIC urging that as part of the national strategy on homelessness:
    a) They implement information referral services at ports of entry to ensure that refugee claimants are not entering the homeless shelter system without appropriate resources to access the system and to ensure that a claimant's early months in Canada are the least traumatic possible and to ensure that they have an appropriate place to go when they leave the port of entry;
    b) They extend eligibility for ISAP services to refugee claimants;
  4. Write to provincial governments urging them to raise social assistance rates.