Canada Announces $212 Million Funding for Asylum Claimants’ Housing: Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP) Extended

Empowering Hope: Canada's $212 Million Initiative Ensures Shelter for Asylum Seekers Amid Rising Immigration

Canada is a nation that has been shaped by immigration, and with global migration on the rise, it’s no surprise that the country is witnessing an increasing number of people seeking asylum. Recognizing the urgent need to address the housing requirements of vulnerable asylum claimants, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, has announced a remarkable funding initiative.

Today, Minister Sean Fraser shared the government’s commitment to support impacted communities in providing safe and secure housing to asylum claimants who seek protection in Canada. The federal government acknowledges that while housing and support for these individuals fall under the provinces and municipalities’ jurisdiction, a unified effort from all levels of government is necessary to find viable solutions.

The cornerstone of this assistance is the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP), which will receive an infusion of approximately $212 million in funding, ensuring its extension until March 31, 2024. This funding injection includes an impressive $97 million for the City of Toronto, one of the areas most impacted by the recent surge in asylum claimants. The IHAP operates on a cost-sharing basis, enabling provinces and municipalities to receive financial aid to cover the costs of interim housing for asylum seekers.

In the wake of the international migration situation, the Canadian government has taken proactive measures to meet the pressing needs of asylum claimants. In collaboration with the most affected provinces and municipalities, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have successfully expanded the capacity of temporary housing. As of early July, IRCC has made available over 3,800 hotel rooms across six provinces, offering a temporary home for those seeking refuge in Canada.

Minister Sean Fraser emphasized the significance of pan-Canadian cooperation in addressing this complex issue. The federal government is steadfast in its commitment to collaborate with provinces and municipalities, ensuring comprehensive support for individuals seeking asylum. The allocated funding for IHAP is part of the nearly $700 million already dedicated to this program, with over $215 million having been provided to the City of Toronto alone.

Canada’s inclusive and humanitarian approach to immigration is evident through these efforts. Asylum seekers who arrive at the nation’s doorstep are not met with barriers but with a helping hand, and the federal government’s commitment to housing support reaffirms this vision. Minister Fraser underscored the importance of upholding the country’s values of compassion, diversity, and inclusivity.

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