Challenges of Vulnerable Immigrants: A focus on Refugees and Housing , Their Canadian Experience

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Oluwagbemi Adejare Alalade
Lovemore Chipungu


The refugee and immigrant problem in Canada are gradually descending into a crisis. Women and elderly people are among the categories of people who experience differentiated integration processes and some forms of discrimination in society. A percentage of immigrants live in poverty, insecurity, and social exclusion, for these individuals, may be in great distress, itinerant, or living in precarious housing conditions. This dire situation made this research imperative to better understand the challenges and measures needed to address the housing challenges of these vulnerable groups. This paper examines the immigrant and refugees housing challenges in Canada. Immigrants and refugees find themselves under diminished capacity as an individual or group to anticipate, cope with, resist, and recover from the impact of the natural or man-made hazard. Qualitative research method was adopted, and data were generated by both primary and secondary sources. Focus groups and policymakers were also interviewed to come up with a logical conclusion on the topic of discussion. The study concludes that there are tripartite causes of housing challenges for refugees and migrants cannot be overemphasized, and it is interconnected to economic, political, and cultural systems. Also, that at best, what has been obtainable is ethnic-specific efforts targeted at some certain migrant groups, which further creates ethical dilemmas as different groups of refugees and different groups of immigrants receive different levels of assistance which is not sustainable, and also antithetical to recommendations from international organizations whose mandate is to ensure quality and adequate housing as a pressing human right issue.  The study concluded that creating economic opportunities for migrants and refugees, making information, quality housing, more available and accessible. Also, when housing providers bring cultural agencies into social housing, it would go a long way in mitigating the challenges housing by immigrants and refugees in Canada. 

Key words: Immigrants; refugees; housing challenges

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