With no help in place, refugees pay too much for shelter

Ninety per cent of the more than 1,000 asylum seekers arriving each year in Metro Vancouver are on their own when it comes to finding a place to live, and many of those end up in housing that is too expensive for their incomes and below national standards for occupancy, experts say. "One of the problems is their temporary status. Their social insurance number begins with a nine and all employers know that means they are temporary so while they can be legally entitled to work they often can't get a job. If you can't get a job you can't get decent housing," said University of B.C. research assistant Jenny Francis, who authored a paper entitled Precarious Housing and Hidden Homelessness Among Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and new Immigrants in Metro Vancouver. Her paper will be presented at the four-day National Metropolis Conference, which starts today at the Sheraton Wall Centre and focuses this year on immigration.

Publication Date: 
March 25, 2011
Journal Name: 
The Vancouver Sun