2.C Settlement and Integration
C.2 What arrangements are made for housing?
(iv) Who pays for sponsored refugees’ accommodations?
How Canada Does It
Sponsors pay for refugees’ temporary and permanent accommodations during the sponsorship period, which is normally twelve months or until the refugees becomes self-sufficient, whichever comes first.
While sponsors are responsible for providing sufficient funds to cover refugees’ housing needs in their first year in Canada, they should remember that their role is to assist refugees in becoming self-sufficient and in integrating into Canadian society while respecting the refugees’ rights to respect and autonomy. Sponsors should explain the costs of living – including housing – in the community of resettlement and help the refugees prepare a budget. Refugees should be able to live in suitable housing that fits within the sponsorship budget.
In rare circumstances, sponsors may be asked by visa officers to extend sponsorship to a total of thirty-six months before refugees’ arrival (see 2.D.4(i)). In such instances, the sponsors’ obligation to pay for the refugees’ accommodation is extended. Sponsors can refuse to accept an extended sponsorship undertaking; however, their sponsorship application may be refused as a result.
Following the sponsorship period, refugees are expected to pay for their own accommodations. If they are not yet self-sufficient, they can access provincial social assistance provided they meet income and residency eligibility requirements. Some sponsoring groups may offer to continue covering refugees housing costs past the sponsorship period, although they are not required to do so. For more information about the post-sponsorship period, see 2.D.4.