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New Canadians find stress looking for place to live as housing crisis continues

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Finding housing is a challenge for many people across Canada, but according to the Young Women’s Christian Association of Halifax (YWCA), some immigrants have been leaving the province or country because of the struggle with finding a place to live.

“They just arrived to Canada [and] they don’t have experience, they don’t have a credit score, and they don’t have a job. All the money they earn here they spend on rent mostly,” said Olena Lokutsovska, Ukrainian newcomer peer leader for the YWCA.

“They realized maybe that we won’t be able to buy some property, apartment, house, and they decided to leave.”

Jenny Velychko’s moved to Nova Scotia in September. She was desperately looking for a place to live, so when a furnished apartment with a short-term lease became available she signed it immediately. However, now that lease is coming to an end next month.

“Here, finding a job is a job and finding a rental is a job,” said Velychko. She said she has submitted at least 10 applications and so far all of them have been rejected. “I’m in Canada with my two kids so I only have one Canadian income.”

Her partner and the rest of her family is in Ukraine. She does not know anyone in Canada who can help her.

Velychko has some additional savings, but she said landlords see her as a financial risk.

“It’s very hard to be in a different country and I am alone with my kids. Sometimes I’m feeling that I am losing hope.”

Velychko said she also knows other new Canadians who are the leaving the province, but she doesn’t want to be one of them.

“I hope that these it’s hard for me but I hope in on year of experience here as an accountant it will be more easier for me,” said Velychko.

In a statement to CTV News, the Department of Labour, Skills, and Immigration said it is providing support to people before they make the decision to move to Nova Scotia.

“We have also hired community navigators in six regions throughout the province to help connect anyone who wants to move to the province to services to community like housing before they arrive. We know that employers wishing to hire newcomers are also actively helping them find housing,” read the statement.

In the meantime, Velychko said she will continue submitting applications until she finds a place that she and her children can call home.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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