Rickford Announces Additional Supports for Homelessness in Kenora – Rainy River
KENORA–RAINY RIVER – The Ontario government is investing an additional $25 million annually in a new Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP), which includes over $5.5 million in Kenora – Rainy River to help people experiencing or who are at risk of homelessness find the right housing services and other supports. This investment includes $5,020,000 for the Kenora District Services Board, an increase of over $115,000, and $540,500 for the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board, an increase of over $41,000.
The new program will streamline operations so municipal service managers can spend less time on paperwork and more time working with their clients to help find housing options and provide support to those at-risk of homelessness.
“This funding will help our local service managers serve more people in need, and improve outcomes for those looking for housing,” said Greg Rickford, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kenora-Rainy River. “As a government, we are proactively mitigating the risk of homelessness before it becomes a larger community issue, and we are committed to supporting service providers with the tools they need to deliver meaningful resources in Kenora-Rainy River.”
“Our government inherited a homelessness prevention system administered through several different government programs that was underfunded, fragmented and overly complex,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “With Ontario’s new Homelessness Prevention Program, we are simplifying the delivery of services and increasing funding so our municipal partners can spend more time focusing on providing vulnerable Ontarians with the supports they need to stay in their homes or get the housing they need.”
The Homelessness Prevention Program launching on April 1, 2022, combines three programs: Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative, Home for Good, and the Strong Communities Rent Supplement Program. It will give service managers more flexibility to target funding where it is needed the most and allow for greater financial accountability by measuring service managers’ progress in reducing and preventing homelessness in their communities.
“We are pleased that the province has recommitted funding through the new Homelessness Prevention Program as homelessness funding historically provided by the province has been incredibly effective in stabilizing the growth of homelessness or at-risk of homelessness in the District of Kenora,” said Barry Baltessen, Board Chair of the Kenora District Services Board. “In communities such as Red Lake, this funding has allowed the community to create enough housing with supports throughout the housing continuum to operate at ‘Functional Zero’, meaning homelessness has become manageable through the availability of services and resources. This additional funding will continue to give the KDSB, our communities and community partners the flexibility to collaboratively work together in addressing the challenges and factors that are unique to the Region, as more work needs to be done. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we thank Minister Rickford, Minister Clark, and the province for their continued support and modernization of administration processes.”
“The Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board appreciates the increased investment by the Province of Ontario through the newly established Housing Prevention Program (HPP) of an additional $41,029,” said Dan McCormick, CAO, Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board. “This investment provides HPP annualized funding of $540,500, which with the enhanced flexibility of the program will allow us to be more creative in seeking long term solutions to further reduce homelessness across the Rainy River District.”
Access to this funding will be based on having a By-Name List in place that meets the provincial requirements and contains detailed, up-to-date information from individuals experiencing homelessness to help connect them to local supports.
The government is also investing an additional $6.7 million in the Indigenous Supportive Housing Program, bringing the total annual investment to $30 million.
The shortage of housing supply impacts all Ontarians, no matter their background or budget. The province’s ongoing work to increase the supply of market housing complements historic investments to increase the supply of supportive and affordable housing for the most vulnerable.
- The new investments can be used to fund the operation of supportive housing units created through the province’s $1 billion Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) – one of the biggest investments the province has made in affordable housing and homelessness supports in Ontario’s history. Thanks to Ontario’s SSRF, the government is helping to create approximately 1,200 new supportive housing units.
- The additional funding via HPP brings Ontario’s total yearly investment in the program to close to $464 million – almost half a billion dollars.