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Registered Name: OMRA Shelter Corporation

Business No: 883429912RR0001

Helping resettled refugees in Ottawa manage high rent costs through monthly rent subsidies



Our Mission

OMRA’s mission is to make it easier for resettled refugees to get affordable housing in Ottawa. Current government shelter allowances for newcomers only cover about half of the average cost of an apartment in Ottawa.

OMRA provides monthly portable rent subsidies to refugee families and individuals to help close that gap and allow the newcomers to focus on learning English and finding a job. Subsidy recipients are identified through referrals from private sponsorship groups and from local refugee settlement agencies such as the Catholic Centre for Immigrants.

Rent subsidies last from one to four years, depending on the needs and circumstances of the recipients. The subsidy amount gradually decreases over the course of the subsidy as recipients become more independent. We prioritize individuals and small families, since these groups have the most financial hardship in light of low housing assistance rates, little or no help  through the Child Tax Benefit and the current severe shortage of affordable rental properties.

Every year, OMRA helps between 25 and 30 refugee families and individuals get started on their new lives in Canada. OMRA helps alleviate poverty and avoid homelessness.

About OMRA

OMRA is a small organization run entirely by volunteers. OMRA raises funds through tax-deductible donations and through an ongoing monthly grocery card fundraising campaign supported by seven local churches and organizations.  OMRA also advocates for better access to affordable housing in Ottawa.

OMRA started subsidizing rents for newcomers in 2001 in several OMRA-owned townhouses. However, in 2017, OMRA sold two of its townhouses and greatly expanded its operations to assist newcomers living anywhere across Ottawa. OMRA has assisted over seventy households and individuals from 20 countries.

After becoming established in their new Ottawa lives, former OMRA clients are now employed as nurses, personal support workers, language teachers, newcomer advocates, retail workers, and medical administrators. Others are at work obtaining Canadian medical, legal and other credentials.




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