Toronto committee asked to approve $108M in hotel contracts for refugees
A Toronto city committee will be asked to approve six different contracts valued at over $108 million to house refugee claimants for the next coming year, according to the Toronto Sun.
An estimated 800 hotel rooms will be provided to the refugees coming to Toronto, Newmarket, Brampton, and Pickering from July 1, if needed, according to shelter, support, and housing spokesman Greg Seraganian.
The $108 figure doesn’t take into account the $24 million spent to house and feed other hotels utilized for similar purposes in the last six months, including the Radisson Toronto East ($13 million), the Toronto Plaza hotel ($9 million) and the Comfort Hotel Airport North ($2 million) over the past six months.
The report also shows that the city has “flexibility with purchase orders” to “switch to another provider when the hotel/motel operator has previous commitments to another party.” This would include conferences and those looking to go on vacation.
Seraganian also said this year’s budget for refugee accommodation is $46.4 million, with the federal government providing Toronto with $45 million in May to help cover those costs. Seraganian did not say what happens if they exceed the given budget.
According to the Sun, Seraganian also stated that “there were just over 2,600 refugees in the motel program as of Tuesday and in the past 18 months more than 8,100 refugee/asylum claimants have been assisted with finding permanent housing.”