AMSSA will be conducting a year-long research project that is funded by United Way British Columbia. Learn more about the project and how you can participate.
Adequate, suitable and affordable housing is a basic need for everyone. Yet, the housing crisis in B.C. is increasing in severity with escalating housing and rent prices, making home ownership inaccessible and finding affordable places to rent more than difficult. This disproportionately affects those most vulnerable and negatively affects quality of life.
For newcomers, an important part of integrating into Canadian life is access to adequate, suitable and affordable housing. It is important to note that housing is considered affordable when one is spending less than 30% of their income (before taxes) on housing (Canadian Rental Housing Index, n.d.). However, newcomers in B.C. face significant barriers accessing housing after arriving to Canada. According to data from the Canadian Rental Housing Index, 64% of newcomers in B.C. spend over 30% of their income on rent and utilities, and 18% live in overcrowded conditions (Canadian Rental Housing Index, n.d.).
Access to adequate, suitable and affordable housing is impacted by a variety of financial barriers associated with a newcomer’s settlement period, including a lack of insufficient Canadian work experience, and difficulties with the foreign credential recognition process in addition to other barriers. In particular, newcomers in Vancouver are more likely to have a low income when compared with their Canadian born counterparts (Hiebert, 2017). Refugee arrivals and visible minority newcomers are the most likely to experience financial struggles (Hiebert, 2017). These barriers are compounded by a lack of sufficient housing-related information and discrimination related to family size, ethnicity, source of income amongst other characteristics (Teixera & Drolet, 2016, Teixera, 2014 & Teixera, 2010).
The settlement and integration sector in BC has been at the center at supporting newcomers after they arrive to Canada by helping them access services, information and resources to address their settlement and housing needs. With the increased number of newcomers arriving, many of whom have immediate housing needs, the settlement sector’s capacity to keep up with demand has been strained. AMSSA observed this strained and found the need to look deeper and assess the intersectionality of newcomer experiences settlement and housing in B.C.
As a result, AMSSA is conducting a year-long research project that is funded by United Way British Columbia that will explore the intersections of newcomer experiences in settlement and housing. The objective of this research project would look at the broader group of newcomers, including refugee claimants, Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) Visa holders, permanent residents, protected persons, work permit holders and international students.
As a part of this research project, AMSSA wants to utilize the diverse knowledge and experience in the settlement and housing sectors by creating a Housing Advisory Committee which will provide guidance and advice during the length of the project. Members of the Housing Advisory Committee will have the opportunity to:
- Provide guidance on aspects of the research project such as the survey, focus groups, interviews, and housing services environmental scan
- Network with key stakeholders across the settlement and integration sector
- Share and expand knowledge on an important societal issue
This survey’s aim is to identify potential participants for the Housing Advisory Committee as well as interest in co-chairing the meetings.
If you are interested in participating as a member of this committee or as a co-chair, please fill out the following survey.
Please note that completion of the survey does not guarantee participation in the committee.
Canadian Rental Housing Index (n.d.). A Snapshot of Renters by Immigration Status in British Columbia and Canada. Retrieved: https://public.tableau.com/shared/6KY5SD5YK?:tabs=n&:display_count=n&:origin=viz_share_link&:embed=y
Hiebert, D. (2017). Immigrants and Refugees in the Housing Markets of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, 2011. Retrieved: https://www.jstor.org/stable/26290770
Teixeira, C. & Drolet, J. (2016). Settlement and Housing Experiences of Recent Immigrants in Small- And Mid-Sized Cities in the Interior of British Columbia. Retrieved: http://p2pcanada.ca/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2016/01/Settlement-and-Housing-Experiences-of-Recent-Immigrants.pdf
Teixeira, C. (2014). Living on the “edge of the suburbs” of Vancouver: A case study of the housing experiences and coping strategies of recent immigrants in Surrey and Richmond. Retrieved: https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/doi/pdfdirect/10.1111/j.1541-0064.2013.12055.x
Teixeira, C. (2010). Housing New Canadians in the Central Okanagan, British Columbia. Retrieved: https://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/bcstudies/article/view/912