Download the Housing sheet here
Download the entire AURA Sponsorship Handbook here

One of the sponsor group’s most challenging responsibilities is securing appropriate housing. It is often difficult to balance affordability, distance, and comfort with the limiting realities of the housing market. You have to try your best.

Refugee sponsors are contractually required to provide:
1. Safe and adequate housing
2. Basic furniture
3. Household essentials (including dishes, linens, toiletries etc.)

AURA strongly recommends against renting accommodation before a family/individual arrives because:
• The timing of arrival is never guaranteed and could change with little notice.
• The newcomers should be involved in the decision of where they will live. If you are seriously considering renting before arrival, please contact AURA.

Temporary Housing:
• Flexibility is very important.
• Consider duration and availability.
• Consider a community member’s home, an unused apartment, or a short term rental.
• Newcomers must have immediate internet access to communicate with family/friends abroad, and an orientation to their new home.
• Search for permanent housing with newcomers as soon as possible post-arrival.

Housing Resources:
• Residential Tenancies Act for Ontario
• Community Legal Aid Clinics for Housing Issues
• Toronto Municipal Code: Occupancy Standards

Proof of Address:
Proof of address may be required before permanent housing is found (for school registration, OHIP, bank accounts etc.)
Sponsors should create a document entitled ‘Rental/Lease Agreement’ which includes the complete address, names of family members and dates. Include the contact information and signatures of the owner(s) and all adult ‘renters’.

Permanent Housing:
Permanent Housing refers to the housing in which the newcomers will stay for the duration of the sponsorship period.

Strive to secure housing where they will be able to remain once the sponsorship period ends.
• Housing must be at a reasonable distance from the sponsor group members. This enables quality support because sponsors know the area and are close.
• AURA policy requires tenant/renters insurance, typically provided in a package covering liability and property. This protects the newcomers, the sponsors and the church.
• Do extensive research on options before arrival.
• Housing must be reasonable by Canadian standards, sufficient for the family size, even if they are willing to fit many people into a small space.
• Explain utilities, electric heat and housing related bills.

Signing a Lease:
• Ideally the lease will be in the name of the newcomers and they will pay their rent directly.
• Some landlords will require a guarantor to co-sign the lease.
• Individual sponsors should never co-sign.
• Sponsors should try to explain the unique situation of sponsored newcomer renters.
• Provide a letter from the church (on letterhead) stating that the church is in financial support of the individual or family for one year. • Please contact AURA for advice.

Get In Touch

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