Refugees and other newcomers to Canada are arriving to housing scarcity. The government is expecting 70,000 Ukrainian evacuees this Spring. Another group of Afghan refugees who supported Canada’s armed forces is expected to land in Canada. This is on top of the expected intake of immigrants and students who may all need short-term and long-term housing and community based facilities.
Groups leading the effort to receive and settle newcomers have started voicing their concerns.
“There will be a lot of vulnerable people coming. There are no organized airlifts in place for this at this point so they will all be coming in, in dribs and drabs. All the Ukrainians that are coming in, whether they have any funds or not, are going to require some support in terms of shelter and housing” – Olenka Bulat, Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
The real estate sector recognizes the brewing crisis and is rising to the challenge.
“Every single corporate developer that’s building multires apartments needs to engage” – Jeremy Jackson, Killam Apartment REIT “We’re currently working with the International Organization for Migration, primarily in Europe, to make our listings on the platform more available to individuals who are seeking housing. We’ll continue to work with the UCC or the federal government as the need continues to grow to support those folks.” – Nathan Rotman, Airbnb Canada.
The issue extends to other classes of immigrants, including the skilled-class category.
“We need the immigration for the labour market. But if we don’t get the immigration for the labour market because they can’t afford to live in the community, that’s a significant challenge,” Walter Sendzik, St. Catharines Mayor.
Supply and demand challenges are fueling the housing scarcity. Interest rates and development barriers are beyond the domain of the average property owner or tenant. There are some lower-hanging fruit that can be addressed through common sense tactics.
It is challenging for prospective tenants who lack Canadian credit ratings to compete for available accommodations. Getting a secured credit card is a simple tactic, as is signing up for Dwello’s free rent payment service. In the absence of any other credit profile, a combination of these two tactics can rapidly take the credit score for the individual from zero to 620+.