Housing issues and problems of refugees and immigrants in Greater Montréal : progress report - PDF

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Housing issues and problems of refugees and immigrants in Greater Montréal : progress report Damaris Rose and Alexandra Charette with Joana Borrero INRS Centre Urbanisation Culture Société Centre Métropolis

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Housing issues and problems of refugees and immigrants in Greater Montréal : progress report Damaris Rose and Alexandra Charette with Joana Borrero INRS Centre Urbanisation Culture Société Centre Métropolis du Québec Immigration et Métropoles Presentation to Metropolis seminar on immigration, housing and homelessness Ottawa, Research objectives Add to the knowledge base on newcomer housing experiences Compare the situations of 3 sub-groups: Refugees resettled from outside Canada Refugee claimants in Canada Immigrants admitted under other categories Identify courses of action aiming to reduce the risk of extremely precarious housing situations and improve housing conditions Mtl study: progress report Page 2 Methodology Focus group with key informants of settlement organizations serving refugees and other newcomers (Oct. 2010) Questionnaire survey to 200 settlement organization clients, during their visits for a consultation or other service (Nov.-Dec. 2010) Focus groups (5) with refugees (Jan.-Feb. 2011) : Those who made a refugee claim on arrival in Canada (2 groups recruited by 2 organizations) Refugees selected from outside Canada (3 groups recruited by 2 organizations) Mtl study: progress report Page 3 A research project in partnership with 5 multi-service settlement organizations 5/5 accredited by Québec to provide housing search assistance to asylum seekers 2/5 mandated by Québec for welcoming and settlement services for refugees selected from outside Canada Ad hoc advisory committee of community organization representatives Partner organization representatives + other key actors (Projet Refuge of the Montréal City Mission) Mtl study: progress report Page 4 Partner organizations CARI St-Laurent Centre d accueil et de référence sociale et économique pour immigrants CACI Centre d appui aux communautés immigrantes CSAI Centre social d aide aux immigrants La Maisonnée Service d aide et de liaison pour immigrants La MIRS Maison internationale de la Rive-sud Why these were selected for our study: multi-service Government accreditation for housing search assistance for refugee claimants and/or mandated to offer welcoming & settlement assistance services to refugees settled from outside Canada Geographical representativity (old urban core, post-ww2 suburbs, suburbs) Mtl study: progress report Page 5 Partner organizations: location Mtl study: progress report Page 6 Sampling procedure in each of the partner organizations 40 clients who have lived in Canada for between 3 months and 10 years FOCUS GROUP - government assisted/privately sponsored refugees QUESTIONNAIRE SURVEY 20 government assisted/privately sponsored refugees OR asylum seekers FOCUS GROUP - asylum-seekers waiting for decision - Former refugee claimants QUESTIONNAIRE SURVEY 20 immigrants who have never been refugees Mtl study: progress report Page 7 Methodological issues & challenges Survey design : ensuring M-T-V comparability while taking account of local specificity Training and supervision of communitybased interviewers Recruitment of focus group participants: respect of methodology guidelines ( homogeneity) versus desire to include everyone ( diversity) Mtl study: progress report Page 8 Some issues raised by key informants Housing as the 1st realm in which newcomers experience discrimination Refugee claimants who are told «this is the only apartment that s left» (basement, poorly-maintained, may even be in unhealthy condition) Insufficient resources to help refugee claimants with their housing search Housing search assistance that can lead to «ghettoization» when settlement workers have to take their clients to certains buildings whose owners tolerate refugees who don t speak French or English, and who have large families Mtl study: progress report Page 9 Basic characteristics of survey respondents Gender (N=191): male: 42% female: 58% Household type (N=201): Couple with child(ren) 45% Lone parent 17% Couple without children 12% Person living alone 11% Unrelated people 7% Other types 11% Mtl study: progress report Page 10 Length of residence in Canada TOTAL 3-6 months 6-12 months 1-4 yrs 5-10 yrs Total N 22% 14% 50% 14% 100% 201 never been a refugee 31% 15% 39% 14% 100% 97 refugee or exrefugee 13% 13% 61% 13% 100% enqûete Mtl : rapport d'étape Page 11 Difficulties in obtaining housing: perceived reasons Reasons % of respondents (N=167) Lack of references 46% Language 45% Source of income 36% Lack of credit 31% No guarantor 31% Family size 17% Country of origin 14% Immigration status 11% Family type 11% Various other reasons 20% enqûete Mtl : rapport d'étape Page 12 Focus groups: some first impressions. Major housing access problems Accompaniment/help for first housing Development of individual social capital Lack of knowledge about housing system, and its opaqueness to newcomers (guarantor, forms to fill out ) Quality of the housing stock that is accessible to vulnerable newcomers Wide gulf between expectations and housing realities after arrival Refugees selected from outside Canada X X X X Asylum seekers X X X X X X Mtl study: progress report Page 13 Next steps Discussion-exchange session with wide range of local community-based stakeholders (23 Feb.) Descriptive analysis of questionnaire survey data (March) Analysis of qualitative data (March-April) First draft of final report (April) Meeting with enlarged advisory group to formulate recommendations concerning the local situation (end of April) Final version of report (May) Mtl study: progress report Page 14 Acknowledgements Our 5 partner organizations and their teams of 26 interviewers who administered the questionnaire survey and organised the focus groups Survey coding and data entry : Magali Boileau- Morin (UQAM) Focus groups : Pilar Mora, Virginia Cisneros (discussion leaders: Spanish), Nohad El Maghrabi (discussion leader: Arabic); Joana Borrero, Myriam Richard (INRS), Dalila Berhouni (observers) Transcriptions (with translation) : Joana Borrero, Dalila Berhouni Mtl study: progress report Page 15 ANNEXES Mtl study: progress report Page 16 About the authors ALEXANDRA CHARETTE, Research Assistant, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), completed her Masters degree in Urban Studies at INRS in December The title of her thesis is L accès au logement par les demandeurs d asile et réfugiés en provenance d Afrique subsaharienne [Access to Housing by Asylum Seekers and Refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa]. She now works as senior research assistant for the Montreal segment of the comparative research project on access to housing by refugees and asylum seekers (Precarious Housing and Hidden Homelessness among Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Immigrants in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver). She is also pursuing PhD studies in political science at the University of Ottawa, still in the field of Canadian immigration. DAMARIS ROSE is Professor of urban and social geography at the Urbanisation Culture Société research centre of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique where she teaches in the Urban Studies graduate programs. She is domain coordinator for the Housing, Neighbourhoods and Urban Environment research domain of the Centre Métropolis du Québec Immigration et métropoles. She is the leader of the Montréal team for the project Precarious housing and hidden homelessness among refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver and has been involved in several other projects on related issues. Main research interests and expertise: housing, neighbourhood change especially gentrification and social mix, urban social policy, social dimensions of newcomer settlement, gender-based analysis, qualitative research methods Mtl study: progress report Page 17
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