The Canadian Federal Government has recently disclosed enhanced support measures for asylum seekers in response to the escalating number of individuals seeking asylum. Sean Fraser, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), made an announcement regarding a special injection of approximately $212 million into the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP) until March 31, 2024. Notably, this allocation includes around $97 million in fresh funding specifically designated for the City of Toronto.
The IHAP operates on a cost-sharing basis, providing financial aid to provinces and municipalities to cater to the interim housing needs of asylum claimants. Furthermore, the IRCC has been actively collaborating with the most affected provinces and territories to augment the availability of temporary housing.
Besides IHAP, IRCC has been actively collaborating with the provinces and municipalities most affected by the influx of asylum seekers to expand the availability of temporary housing. By early July, the IRCC had already secured over 3,800 hotel rooms in six provinces, specifically designated to accommodate asylum claimants on a temporary basis.
What is the Role of IHAP?
During the fiscal year 2022–2023, the federal government disbursed over $164 million in payments through the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP) to assist provincial and municipal governments in managing exceptional pressures on interim housing, which arose due to the increased number of asylum claimants since 2017. According to the the government website, these funds were allocated to cover eligible expenses 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
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