New Funding for IHAP: Supporting Asylum Claimants in Canada

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Toronto, July 18, 2023 – The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Sean Fraser, has made an important announcement regarding the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP). In a significant move, approximately $212 million in new funding has been allocated to provide essential interim accommodation for vulnerable asylum claimants in Canada until March 31, 2024. Of this funding, the City of Toronto will receive approximately $97 million to address the increasing needs of asylum seekers within its jurisdiction.

IHAP: Supporting Provinces and Municipalities in Providing Housing

The Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP) plays a crucial role in aiding provinces and municipalities across Canada in their efforts to provide housing for asylum seekers. The program aims to alleviate the challenges faced by individuals who have sought refuge in Canada by ensuring they have access to safe and secure temporary housing while their asylum claims are being processed. With this new funding injection, combined with the program’s existing contributions, the total support provided by IHAP has reached an impressive amount of nearly $700 million. The City of Toronto has already received over $215 million as part of this program.

Expanding Temporary Housing Units through Collaborative Efforts

Recognizing the urgent need to address the accommodation requirements of asylum claimants, the IRCC has actively collaborated with provinces and municipalities. Together, they have worked diligently to expand the number of temporary housing units available. Across six provinces, over 3,800 hotel accommodations have been secured, ensuring that asylum claimants have a safe and comfortable place to stay during the processing of their asylum applications. This collaborative approach demonstrates a commitment to providing dignified living conditions for those in need.

Streamlined Access to Work Permits through Temporary Public Policy (TPP)

In addition to the funding injection and expanded temporary housing initiatives, the IRCC has implemented a temporary public policy (TPP) to further support asylum claimants. Since its implementation on November 16, 2022, the TPP has expedited the process for asylum claimants to obtain work permits. This policy enables them to access work permits more quickly, allowing them to support themselves financially while awaiting a decision on their asylum claim.

Significant Impact: Reducing Reliance on Social Assistance

The implementation of the TPP has resulted in significant positive outcomes. Since its inception, over 53,000 initial work permits have been issued to asylum seekers, aiming to reduce their reliance on social assistance programs. This progressive approach acknowledges the potential and capabilities of asylum claimants, providing them with opportunities to contribute to the Canadian economy and society at large. By granting access to work permits, the IRCC recognizes the importance of self-sufficiency and empowerment for individuals in vulnerable situations.

Anticipated Impact of the Funding Announcement

While specific details of the recently announced funding were not provided in the media advisory, it is anticipated that the impact will be significant. The substantial amount allocated to IHAP showcases the Canadian government’s commitment to ensuring the welfare and well-being of asylum claimants. With these additional resources, provinces and municipalities, including the City of Toronto, will be better equipped to address the immediate housing needs of vulnerable individuals, fostering a more inclusive and compassionate society.


In conclusion, the announcement of new funding for the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP) is a significant milestone in providing vital support to asylum claimants in Canada. The allocation of approximately $212 million, along with the existing contributions, will ensure that vulnerable individuals have access to essential interim accommodation until March 31, 2024. IHAP, in collaboration with provinces and municipalities, aims to address the pressing housing needs of asylum seekers. Additionally, the implementation of the temporary public policy (TPP) has expedited access to work permits, reducing reliance on social assistance and empowering asylum claimants to contribute to the Canadian economy. The Canadian government’s commitment to providing dignified living conditions and fostering inclusivity showcases its dedication to supporting asylum claimants and building a compassionate society.

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