For retired librarian Sandra Onufryk, finding affordable rental housing for the Al Balkhi family – Syrian refugees she helped privately sponsor – meant stepping into the Greater Toronto Area’s red-hot real estate market and experiencing the bitter sting of disappointment.
She called 15 landlords around Oakville, Ont. – an area west of Toronto with a vacancy rate hovering around 1.6 per cent.
The conversations started off well. “And then when I mentioned seven people and Syrian refugees, the tone changed. So we didn’t even go and look,” she said.
I had assumed housing had to be arranged in advance by the “private sponsors”.
Surely they didn’t expect private landlords to throw open the doors without concern or that the tax payer be ultimately made to pay the freight for their “feel-good” moment.