OCASI Report on Settlement and Housing


Settling in a new country means finding a new home, literally.  As they search for housing, Canadian immigrant and refugee women can face some of the biggest barriers. They often need expert advice that fits their complex needs, including their immigration status, housing affordability and eligibility requirements for specific housing programs.

OCASI has released a new research report that looks at the barriers and effective practices that immigrant and refugee-serving sector and housing service providers use to serve this population. While each of these sectors  has its own expertise, they often operate in siloes because of different funding structures and policy frameworks. The report, The Intersection of Settlement and Housing Services and Policies: Reducing the risk of homelessness for immigrant and refugee women, emphasizes that linkages between the two sectors strengthens the capacity of each to serve immigrant and refugee women better.

Key findings from the study include:

  • A Housing First approach is the right one for immigrant and refugee women who may face additional barriers around such things as income, language of service, employment and credit histories, or family violence.
  • In the current policy and funding climate, service providers are not able to provide the coordinated services that are needed and that more complex service demands are putting increased pressure on staff.
  • Despite these challenges, some agencies are finding ways to integrate their services to meet need. Case study models of these successful programs are included in the report.

Finally, the report, provides sixteen recommendations aimed at government policy-makers, funders, service providers, and sectors to ensure more effective service provision.

OCASI commissioned this research, with funding from Employment  & Social Development Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy, in partnership with COSTI and WoodGreen.

Click on the link below for the report.