Group Budget Planning
Finances
Download the PDF here
Refugee Sponsorship is a Contract: A sponsorship is an agreement between the sponsor group/Parish, AURA, and the government. Sponsors are contractually required to provide:
•Airport Reception.
•Lodging (suitable accommodation, basic furniture, household essentials, phone and internet).
•Care (food, clothing, local transportation, basic necessities of life).
•Settlement Assistance and Support.

Settlement Budget Planning:
•AURA does not provide a budget model, as many factors affect a budget, and every sponsorship is different. We believe it is important for sponsors to develop their budget as a group.
•Many items may be donated, however a budget must allow for some new items, such as personal clothing.
•Additional funds must be available for emergencies or unforeseen expenses.
•The AURA Executive Director must be satisfied with each group’s financial standing/fiscal plan.
The government provides a cost table ( see downloadable pdf), however, these numbers represent a minimum financial requirement, consider them only a starting point.

Sponsors will:
•Ensure newcomers have a reasonable living standard.
•Plan a monthly budget prior to arrival and reassess on arrival.
•Estimate start-up costs (clothing, food staples, household needs, etc.)
•Submit the budget to AURA as part of the Settlement Plan, within two weeks of receiving notice of arrival.

Important Considerations:
A Fine Balance: While sponsors cannot provide less than the necessary, reasonable standard of living, you must also be careful not to provide too much financial support. Be aware of creating an unsustainable relationship of dependency.

Avoiding Difficult Transitions: All sponsorships have a set end date when financial support will end and newcomers will become self-sufficient or access social assistance (Ontario Works). If sponsors provide high levels of financial support throughout a sponsorship, it will be very challenging for newcomers to get used to living on a significantly reduced budget. It is especially important to secure housing where newcomers will be able to remain after the sponsors are no longer responsible for the rent.

The Right to Self-Determination: Since groups do budget planning and decision making prior to arrival, it may be easy to continue making decisions that are no longer yours to make after newcomers arrive. Sponsor’s responsibilities are to provide reasonable funds, and explain how they are meant to cover the newcomers’ needs. How they actually decide to spend their money is up to them. Every sponsorship is different, and challenges and systems put in place vary greatly depending on the financial literacy, experience and attitude of the newcomers.

Banking:
•After arrival you will need to accompany the newcomers to open a bank account and get a bank card.

Credit Cards:
•Unless you sign as a co-signer, sponsors are not responsible if debt is accumulated in the name of the newcomer. Never co-sign.

Phones/Internet:
•A phone and a computer with internet access must be provided by the sponsor group.
•Newcomers must be able to connect to the internet immediately upon arrival to their new/temporary home.

Housing and Rent:
•Have flexible temporary housing ready, and develop a plan for a housing search post arrival.
•Whenever possible, seek housing where sponsored newcomers will be able to remain once the sponsorship period ends.
•Members of a sponsor group should never co-sign on a lease.

Employment:
•AURA has a strict policy that no employment comes at the expense of ESL classes.
•If a sponsored newcomer wants to begin work, this must be approved by the AURA Executive Director.

AURA Tips:
1. Do research to find a bank, consider benefits, costs, and multilingual staff.
2. Do not encourage the acquisition of credit cards.
3. It can be tempting to give newcomers a lot of money, either directly (dollars per month) or indirectly (paying expensive rent). But it is important to not create unrealistic expectations.
4. Never co-sign for housing, credit cards, or other forms of credit.

Get In Touch

  • 2723 St. Clair Avenue East
    Toronto, ON M4B 1M8
  • (416) 588-1612
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