Ontario Increasing Local Support for Homelessness Prevention
Province’s additional investment will help local families and individuals at risk of experiencing homelessness
FORT FRANCES – The Ontario government is investing an additional $202 million annually in the province’s Homelessness Prevention Program and Indigenous Supportive Housing Program, bringing Ontario’s total yearly investment in these programs to close to $700 million. The additional funding will help local families and individuals at risk of homelessness and support community organizations delivering supportive housing.
This includes a funding increase of over $592,000 for the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board (RRDSSAB) bringing the Homelessness Prevention Program and Indigenous Supportive Housing Program allocation to over $1.1 million for 2023-24.
“Today’s investment supports the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board (RRDSSAB) in ensuring community members at-risk for homelessness have access to the resources they need and deserve,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Member of Provincial Parliament for Kenora Rainy-River. “Our government understands how critical RRDSSAB’s services are to improving the physical, mental and social well-being of our community’s most vulnerable.”
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Province of Ontario and our local MPP, Minister Greg Rickford, for the continued investment through the Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) in the Rainy River District,” said Dan McCormick, CAO Rainy River DSSAB. “The increase will be instrumental in continuing to deliver existing programs and further enhancing additional strategies to end homelessness.”
“Investing in homelessness funding, including supportive housing and culturally appropriate options, demonstrates our government’s commitment to addressing the needs of all residents”, said Kevin Holland, Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay-Atikokan. “By allocating an additional $592,000 to the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board, Atikokan area residents will have access to vital resources and pathways towards stable housing.”
The additional funding, announced in the 2023 Budget, represents a 39 per cent increase in funding by the government to support the most vulnerable by providing supportive housing and homelessness prevention services. Under the $202 million, $190.5 million each year will be allocated to the Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP), which gives Ontario’s 47 Service Managers greater flexibility to allocate funding and make better use of existing resources to focus on delivering supports.
The remaining $11.5 million each year will be invested in the Indigenous Supportive Housing Program (ISHP), which provides Indigenous-led, culturally appropriate long-term housing solutions and support services to Indigenous people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
“We know Ontario’s housing supply crisis impacts all Ontarians, no matter their background or budget,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “That’s why we’ve increased funding for our homelessness prevention programs by more than 40 per cent. These measures complement the bold and transformational change we are implementing to tackle the housing supply crisis and get more homes built faster across Ontario.”
The increased funding is a result of a revised funding model that better reflects the current needs of individuals who are facing homelessness across Ontario. Funding dollars are being increased to address increased needs, particularly during a time of rising inflation, and to help ensure that no service manager receives a decrease in funding compared to 2022-23 as a result of the transition to the new model.
The changes also address the recommendation in the Auditor General’s 2021 value-for-money audit on homelessness, which called for a better funding model for homelessness programs that would target areas where funding is most needed.
In addition to reducing costs in other sectors, supportive housing provides people in Ontario with an opportunity to live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. Ontario will continue to support the most vulnerable by providing supportive housing and homelessness prevention services to help those most in need.
- In order to access HPP funding, Service Managers must have in place a comprehensive and up-to-date By-Name List of people experiencing homelessness, along with information about their needs. This is to ensure that Service Managers have the up-to-date information they need from individuals experiencing homelessness to help connect people the right housing and supports as soon as they are available.
- Through the Community Housing Renewal Strategy, response to COVID-19 and homelessness initiatives, over the past three years Ontario invested nearly $4.4 billion for community and supportive housing while addressing homelessness and the impacts of the pandemic for vulnerable Ontarians.
- In 2022, the government introduced the More Homes Built Faster Act, which takes bold action to address the housing crisis by building 1.5 million homes by 2031. The plan also has measures to reduce municipal charges for housing providers looking to build non-profit and affordable housing for vulnerable Ontarians.