BRITISH COLUMBIA

Daljit Thind, Vancouver-Area Developer, Offers Free Homes For Refugees

11/22/2015 05:38 EST | Updated 11/24/2015 02:59 EST

Vancouver's most powerful people are stepping up to donate homes to Syrian refugees expected to settle in B.C. soon.

Daljit Thind, CEO and founder of THIND properties, is offering seven units from one of his company's developments in the suburb of Burnaby to give the newcomers a place to stay, reported CBC News.

The units, which have up to four bedrooms, have enough space for an entire families, said the outlet. Thind will even be donating some furniture, and is accepting contributions from the public to help make the spaces feel like home.

Up to 600 people are expected to settle in Burnaby as part of the federal government's pledge to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of the year.

“I just wanted to help these people. They come with their kids and the kids are so young."

Thind, who was named one of Vancouver's most powerful people in 2014, immigrated to Canada from India over two decades ago. He told The Vancouver Sun he understands first-hand how challenging it can be for refugees to settle in a foreign country.

“I just wanted to help these people. They come with their kids and the kids are so young,” Thind told the newspaper.

'We can make it work'

Thind's gesture follows that of Ian Gillespie, another Vancouver-area developer who is donating the use of 12 units in a West End apartment buildings. Syrian refugees will be able to use the homes for four months.

This month, Vancouver Magazine named Gillespie the most powerful person in the city.

"If this sparks a few dozen others to do something then we can make it work. This is a big country and there are millions of buildings," Gillespie told The Vancouver Sun about helping Syrian refugees to Canada.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada's premiers are expected to discuss federal plans for security screenings, and a Liberal commitment to providing millions of dollars to help settle the newcomers.

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