Saskatoon has become a popular and desirable destination for interprovincial migration as well as for new immigrants and refugees seeking a new community to call home.
The amount of landed immigrants that came through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) has dramatically increased since 2005, while federally there have only been small increases in the amount of landed immigrants. SINP has been successful in that it has accounted for the majority of overall immigration growth in Saskatchewan since 2000. Furthermore, a large portion of new immigrants who have settled in Saskatchewan decided to live in Saskatoon.
The number of temporary foreign workers in Saskatchewan has also increased. In fact that demographic has tripled since 2005. As well, the amount of foreign students has seen a steady increase over the last decade, typically ranging between 3,000 and 4,000 each year.
Unfortunately, the need for adequate housing for recent immigrants has been largely unfilled and the settlement period for many of the immigrants is not without struggle. One of the many issues is that recent immigrant households have on average more persons per household compared to the average Saskatoon household. This is compounded by the fact that anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 new migrants move to Saskatoon each year, putting upward pressures on housing prices, decreasing the availability of affordable and appropriate homes.
Income of recent immigrants also plays an important role in housing. In Saskatoon, the average household incomes of established immigrants grew more between 2001 and 2006 in Saskatoon compared to average household income of recent immigrants. Furthermore, the average income of recent immigrant households continues to be lower than the overall average for all households. According to Statistics Canada almost half of households consisting of only recent immigrants have annual incomes of less than $20,000 – double the proportion of Canadian-born households within this income range.