February 19, 2016 / By: Graham Coe

Syrian Refugees: Mainstreet Equity Housing Program Update

Personal Interest, Immigration
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The crisis in Syria began in 2011 as a part of the democratic uprising in the Arab world known as the Arab Spring. However, peaceful protests soon turned to violence when the Syrian Government attempted to suppress anti-government demonstrations throughout the nation. This violent crackdown ultimately developed into civil war.

Since this time, it is estimated that more than 320,000 people have been killed in Syria and, according to the United Nations, approximately 13.5 million Syrians are currently in need of humanitarian assistance. Of this 13.5 million, 6.6 million are displaced within Syria, 4.6 million are refugees, and the remainder are simply suffering amidst civil war.

As part of the Liberal election platform, it was promised that 25,000 government-sponsored refugees would be brought to Canada by the end of 2015. Although this goal was not met, the Canadian Government has continued to push on, and the target of 25,000 total refugees should be met by the end of this month (however, only 15,000 are expected to be government-sponsored with the balance sponsored privately). As of February 16, 2016, exactly 21,313 refugees have arrived in Canada. It looks encouraging that we will hit our mark in the coming weeks. Internationally, Canada has once again punched well above our weight in efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to those most in need.

However, resettling thousands of refugees is no easy task. Seeing and opportunity to give back to the global community (and support our nation's efforts), Mainstreet offered to accommodate incoming families. As a company, we committed 200 suites to the resettling families with heavily subsidized rent. Through partnerships with groups such as the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS), Edmonton's Catholic Social Services (CSS), and Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSBC), we have been lucky enough to be in a position to lend a helping hand to the organizations helping at the ground level.

So far, Mainstreet has successfully housed 70 families (consisting of 280 individuals) in our buildings across Calgary, Edmonton, and Lower Mainland BC. Our resettlement program includes:

  • Subsidized rent
  • Dedicated team in each resettlement city
  • Arabic speaking staff
  • Expedited approval process for new families
  • Resettlement of families to the same building or complex

We have all read numerous articles and heard countless news stories about the challenges being faced by organizations as they attempt to deal with the swift influx of refugees and resettle these families in an efficient and timely manner. Mainstreet is proud to be a part of this effort and we are wishing all the best to our new Syrian friends and partner companies.

To stay up to date with the latest news and updates check out the Government of Canada's #WelcomeRefugees page


Mainstreet Equity Corp. is a publicly-traded (TSX: MEQ) residential real estate company in Canada. Mainstreet currently owns and operates properties in Surrey, BC; New Westminster, BC; Abbotsford, BC; Calgary, AB; Cochrane, AB; Lethbridge, AB; Edmonton, AB; Fort Saskatchewan, AB; and Saskatoon, SK.

Mainstreet provides affordable, renovated apartment suites to Canadians, and is committed to creating real value without diluting shareholder interests.