Presentation on theme: "Pathways to Housing … The Experiences of Sponsored Refugees and Refugee Claimants in Accessing Permanent Housing in Toronto Robert Murdie Geography Department."— Presentation transcript:
Pathways to Housing … The Experiences of Sponsored Refugees and Refugee Claimants in Accessing Permanent Housing in Toronto Robert Murdie Geography Department York University
Objective Compare the housing experiences of sponsored refugees and refugee claimants in Toronto Why? Relatively little research on housing access by refugees Assumption that the two groups are monolithic Differences in labour market success between sponsored refugees and refugee claimants Renaud et al (2003): Ones Bad and the Other Ones Worse: Differences in Economic Integration Between Asylum Seekers and Refugees Selected Abroad... the important finding is that refugee claimants are disadvantaged over landed refugees once all other factors are taken into account.
Working Hypothesis Refugee claimants will experience a more difficult pathway to housing than sponsored refugees and will be less well housed, at least in the initial stage of settlement Sponsored Refugee Refugee Claimant Permanent Housing
Research Design Interviews with key informants Focus group with IRHTG (Toronto) Individual interviews (20 sponsored refugees, 24 refugee claimants) Reputational (snow-ball) sample Semi-structured questionnaire 35 interviews transcribed
The Sample: Selected Characteristics Sponsored Refugees Limited no. of countries More time outside home country Larger households Older Less education Weaker facility in English LESS human capital Refugee Claimants Wide range of countries Less time outside home country Smaller households Younger More education Stronger facility in English MORE human capital
The Sample: On Arrival Sponsored Refugees More Arrived with partner and/or children Knew friends and/or relatives in Toronto before arrival Were met on arrival MORE social capital Refugee Claimants Fewer Arrived with partner and/or children Knew friends and/or relatives in Toronto before arrival Were met on arrival LESS social capital
Initial Housing Experience Sponsored Refugees Temporary housing more likely with family and/or friends than a shelter Average time to find permanent housing:.8 months Refugee Claimants Temporary housing more likely in a shelter than with family and/or friends Average time to find permanent housing: 7.2 months
First Permanent Dwelling Sponsored Refugees More likely to locate in a neighbourhood with co-ethnics High-rise apartment Rent from private landlord Larger Units Less likely to share with non-family members Refugee Claimants Less likely to locate in a neighbourhood with co-ethnics Diversity of housing Rent from private landlord Smaller Units Much more likely to share with non-family members
Current Dwelling 50% of sponsored refugees and 30% of refugee claimants did not move from first permanent dwelling Refugee claimants Number in high-rise apartments doubled and a minority gained access to social housing Increased unit space – more two bedroom apartments Fewer sharing with non-family members Paid less rent than sponsored refugees Increased dwelling and neighbourhood satisfaction High proportion of both groups indicated that housing and getting housing were not what they imagined before coming to Canada (Expected lower rents and more govt. assistance)
Summary and Conclusion Refugee claimants experienced a more difficult pathway to housing than sponsored refugees (confirms Renaud et al). Sponsored refugees found permanent housing much more quickly than refugee claimants (social networks) Claimants generally improved their housing position over time and narrowed the gap with sponsored refugees Affordability is a serious problem for both groups Both groups relied heavily on informal sources (social capital) for housing information and help. Is the strategy of relying on friends and relatives a viable long term solution for acquiring affordable, good quality rental housing, especially when the supply of such housing is limited?