Moncton moving Syrian refugees into hotels temporarily
Syrian refugees had been moving into apartments but city housing was too small for some large families
Syrian refugees settling in Moncton will now be moving temporarily into hotels instead of apartments as the city struggles to find enough apartments to house the larger families fleeing the war-torn country.
Isabelle LeBlanc, a communications co-ordinator for the City of Moncton, said the decision to stop moving families directly into apartments was made when the city realized the housing was not appropriate for the refugee families.
"The families are much larger than what we all anticipated," LeBlanc said.
"Most of the apartments in the inventory were too small for the large size family that was coming in."
In other parts of Canada, the refugees stayed in hotels first and were then moved to an apartment that suited them.
Moncton will be doing things differently now.
LeBlanc also said it was easier for the city to make the Syrians more aware of the initial services provided to them as they were all living in one area.
Moncton has already placed more than a 100 refugees in hotel rooms for the time being.
On Monday, the federal government published a tender for 150 rooms in Fredericton and Oromocto to accommodate 450 refugees for an undetermined length of time.
Help from agencies
Justin Ryan, the communications co-ordinator for the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area (MAGMA), said the settlement agency had been getting apartments ready for the refugees before they arrived.
The organization also provided the families with a modest amount of furniture that was invoiced and charged to them later.
The services include getting $20 per person for a week as part of the federal refugee program.
The second amount, which is deposited directly in their bank accounts, goes towards buying furniture.
Later, on a monthly basis they get a deposit for the rest of the year for the same amount as people on social assistance.
Other services include members of the local multicultural association and volunteers helping refugees getting integrated into the community.