York Region opening doors to provide support for asylum seekers

York Regional Council providing new funding for asylum seekers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

York Regional Council has approved up to $4.3 million to support asylum seekers in York Region with interim housing solutions and other wrap-around supports.

“The number of people claiming asylum in Canada is increasing and, like other regions in Ontario, York Region is experiencing an unexpected influx of people seeking asylum and the need for suitable, sustainable housing,” said York Region chairperson and CEO, Wayne Emmerson.

York Region is also working with other community partners to provide wrap-around services to further help asylum seekers achieve stability and find employment. The Canadian Red Cross will provide reception, registration and work with settlement agencies and other partners to ensure needs of asylum seekers are met.

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The accommodation was first offered as an emergency response for one month, and with council’s approval, the $4.3 million in funding will allow the site to operate until March 31, 2024.

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“Establishing interim hotel-based accommodations and wrap-around supports is consistent with both York Region’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and other municipal responses to the current influx of asylum seekers,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Gino Rosati, Chair of Community and Health Services.

York Regional Council says it will continue to advocate for federal funding through the Interim Housing Assistance Program to fully offset upfront municipal costs. Advocacy efforts will also include requesting the federal government fund and implement a regional response to provide coordination for asylum seekers looking for access to adequate shelter and support.

To learn more about various roles, responsibilities and services and supports for asylum seekers, visit

Click to play video: 'Ford, Chow announce $42M to help house Ontario asylum seekers'
Ford, Chow announce $42M to help house Ontario asylum seekers

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