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The Housing Trajectories of Refugees in Winnipeg: The First Three Years Metropolis British Columbia Policy Research Symposium November 7 th 2008 Presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "The Housing Trajectories of Refugees in Winnipeg: The First Three Years Metropolis British Columbia Policy Research Symposium November 7 th 2008 Presentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Housing Trajectories of Refugees in Winnipeg: The First Three Years Metropolis British Columbia Policy Research Symposium November 7 th 2008 Presentation by Tom Carter, with C. Polevychok, A. Friesen and J. Osborne

2 – Study Methodology – Features of the study population – Socio-economic and housing trajectories – Policy suggestions Presentation Outline

3 Study Methodology – Winnipeg a component of a three city study – Longitudinal (three years) – Recently arrived refugees – Personal interviews – Document changes over time

4 Location of Sample Households in Winnipeg

5 Year One75 interviews Year Two55 interviews Retention Rate 73% Year Three39 interviews Retention Rate52% Year Three Analysis compares the same households throughout The Study Sample (Winnipeg)

6 Key Features of the Study Population Year One Year Two Year Three From Africa/Middle East69%70%67% Employed49%62%72% Average Shelter Costs/month$594$639$652 Difficulty Meeting Expenses60%49%41% Unable to Save Money69%54%49%

7 Year OneYear Two Year Three % Change Year One to Year Three Under $20,00029.428.614.7-14.7 $20,000 - $29,99952.934.323.5-29.4 $30,000 - $39,99917.614.326.5 +8.9 $40,000 - $49,999 2.914.317.6+14.7 $50,000 + 0.0 8.617.6+17.6 Total343534 Mean$23,636$28,276$35,411+49.8 Median$23,208$26,400$30,570+31.7 Improvements in Income

8 Declining Incidence of Poverty

9 Source of Income Year One % Year Two % Year Three % Percent of Households - all income from Government Transfers 3526 9 - no income from Government Transfers 243135 - receiving Social Assistance493516 Average percent from Government Transfers 534023 Employment Income as % of all income 375668 Source: Sample Survey

10 Housing Affordability Spending 30% or More on Housing

11 Housing Design / Quality / Health Issues Year One % Year Two % Year Three % Like size of place38.574.482.1 Had only one bathroom79.576.971.8 In good condition73.756.466.7 Repair problems26.343.633.3 Not safe for children23.115.413.2 Contributes to health problems28.910.510.3

12 Is Social Housing Better? Household size Year One (n=38) Year Two (n=34) Year Three (n=33) PrivateSocialPrivateSocialPrivateSocial Proportion of sample76.323.758.841.260.639.4 Meets NOS48.355.665.078.665.069.2 Happy with home62.187.585.078.690.069.2 Housing is safe74.177.890.064.390.061.5 Neighbourhood is safe69.055.680.077.890.062.5 Mean rent$585$388$617$384$642$356

13 Homeownership Intentions Percentage

14 Year One Year Two Year Three Like neighbourhood76.3%76.9%71.8% Do not feel safe33.3%14.7%18.0% Living in inner city76.9%61.5% Want to move to different neighbourhood 76.3%57.9%60.5% Would prefer to live in non-inner city 77.3%88.9%87.0% Neighbourhood Characteristics

15 Property Management /Rights and Responsibilities –the role of caretakers and landlords –54% found caretakers/landlords helpful in Year One, increasing to 81% in Year Two –lack of knowledge of rights and responsibilities –language definitely affects this issue Other Housing Characteristics

16 Access to Loans and Credit –lack of employment history –lack of Canadian job history –lack of credit history –need for a co-signer –some lenders are TOO generous Other Housing Characteristics

17 Where Do I Find the Necessary Information? –no single source of good!! reliable!! and current!! Information –no one stop shop –Where do households get their information (Year Two)? 40% from family and friends 17% from government agencies 13% from real estate/rental agencies 8% from walking/driving around –sponsors much more prominent in Year One –BUT, is the information reliable/comprehensive? Other Housing Characteristics

18 Mobility of Sample Households 2006 - 2007

19 Housing and the Resettlement Process Incomes have improved Affordability has improved Still some reliance on government transfers Modest improvement in employment Market conditions deteriorating Issues of safety and security Concerns with quality of housing Poor knowledge of the market

20 Policy Recommendations Community Resources more resources and staff with different skill sets for community organization Education and Awareness an organization with a mandate and resources to provide comprehensive housing and neighbourhood information is required development and dissemination of educational material on tenant rights and responsibilities development of educational material for landlords and caretakers.

21 Policy Recommendations Housing Supply changes in unit size and design to meet needs of new arrivals review of eligibility criteria for public housing development of more transitional housing limits of occupancy time in transitional housing the greatest priority is to increase the supply of affordable housing

22 Policy Recommendations Building Inclusive and Welcoming Communities policies to encourage the development of safe, inclusive and welcoming communities Development of Comprehensive and Integrated Policy language proficiency facilitates access to better housing level of monetary support for new arrivals should be increased

23 Housing is only part of a complex set of factors that contribute to successful integration

24 Conclusion The trajectory is positive but problems remain Will positive trajectory continue? If successful integration from a housing perspective is achieving the circumstances of the host population, then refugee households still have to experience significant housing change and improvement

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