Interim Housing Assistance Program
Terms and conditions
Program Name: Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP)
Department: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Last Updated: August 20, 2020
1.1 The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act establishes the Department of Citizenship and Immigration over which the Minister for Citizenship and Immigration presides. Section 4 of that Act sets out the powers, duties and functions of the Minister.
4. The powers, duties and functions of the Minister extend to and include all matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction relating to citizenship and immigration and that are not by law assigned to any other department, board or agency of the Government of Canada.
1.2 The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act provides the authority for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to enter into agreements and arrangements with the provinces and international organizations as follows:
5. (1) The Minister, with the approval of the Governor in Council, may enter into agreements with any province or group of provinces or with any foreign government or international organization, for the purpose of facilitating the formulation, coordination and implementation — including the collection, use and disclosure of information — of policies and programs for which the Minister is responsible.
5. (2) The Minister may enter into arrangements with any province or group of provinces or with any foreign government or international organization, for the purpose of facilitating the formulation, coordination and implementation — including the collection, use and disclosure of information — of policies and programs for which the Minister is responsible.
1.3 Additionally, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration co-administers the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). That Act authorizes the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, subject to Governor in Council approval, to enter into agreements with the provinces:
8. (1) The Minister, with the approval of the Governor in Council, may enter into an agreement with the government of any province for the purposes of this Act. The Minister must publish, once a year, a list of the federal-provincial agreements that are in force.
2. Purpose and objective
2.1 Since 2017, Canada has experienced an increase in asylum claims, both at ports of entry and by irregular migrants intercepted crossing the border at locations that were not designated land ports of entry. Provinces have called for support in managing the downstream impact of asylum flows, including interim housing pressures. The Government of Canada has committed to provide funding to help alleviate the pressures provinces are facing in providing services to asylum claimants.
2.2 IHAP will contribute to honoring the Government’s commitment as it main purpose will be to provide financial support to provinces and, if necessary to municipal governments should a cost-sharing agreement not be reached with provinces, to address extraordinary interim housing pressures resulting from increased volumes of asylum claimants entering Canada.
2.3 It is anticipated that this support will enable provinces and municipal governments to continue delivering effective interim housing solutions for asylum claimants, strengthen their interim housing capacities, and limit the need for the federal government to directly provide interim housing services.
2.4 IHAP also contributes to the Department’s Results Framework through the Core Responsibility of Immigrant and Refugee Selection and Integration. More specifically, IHAP relates to Result 3: potential permanent residents are selected for immigration to Canada.
3. Eligible services/initiatives/projects
3.1 Eligible services under IHAP must address extraordinary or incremental costs incurred related to the provision of temporary housing for asylum claimants.
4. Eligible recipients
4.1 The organizations eligible to receive funding under these terms and conditions are:
- Provincial or municipal governments.
5. Eligible expenditures
5.1 Eligible expenditures will consist of interim housing and associated costs and may include, for example:
- Temporary accommodations;
- Triage and transportation operations;
- Other indirect costs related to the provision of interim housing for asylum claimants
6. Determination of grant amount
6.1 Recommended grant amounts will take into account
- the total amount available each fiscal year
- the formula
- other evidence
The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship will make the final decisions. The agreement will include the amount of funding.
6.2 Amounts will be informed by a formula that multiplies an average number of days asylum claimants spent in shelter by an average lodging cost per day.
Amounts with provinces will take into consideration any IRCC funding already provided to their municipalities for this program’s purpose (as applicable).
7. Maximum amount payable
7.1 The maximum amount payable to eligible recipients for a specific activity or project will
- be determined during discussions with the provinces and municipalities
- be defined in the agreement
- not exceed the authorities approved and available for this program
8. Basis of payment
8.1 Financial grants to eligible recipients will be based on a payment schedule agreed to between Canada and eligible recipients.
9. Required information from applicant and assessment criteria
9.1 Applicants must, in writing, submit a request for compensation, and demonstrate that they have incurred interim lodging costs as a result of increased asylum claim volumes.
The department will assess the validity of these requests and dispense funding accordingly based on the:
- aforementioned formula
- latest asylum claimants volumes
- information on interim housing costs provided by the eligible recipients and migration trends
The respective parties will discuss the final financial amount. The final amount will be outlined in a legally binding agreement.
10. Reporting requirements
10.1 Eligible recipients will be asked to provide Canada with an acknowledgement letter confirming that the financial grant has been received towards the costs of managing temporary housing provided to asylum claimants, including irregular migrants.
11. Official languages
11.1 The nature of this program is related to asylum claimants. Therefore the program does not support activities that directly benefit members of both official languages.
11.2 Communications with the public and delivery of services will take into account the relevant official languages obligations and comply with all applicable requirements stipulated in the Official Languages Act and related regulations and policies.
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