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Ontario Increasing Support for Homelessness Prevention

The Standard apologizes for unintentionally cutting off the end of the Homelessness Prevention article. Please find the whole article below.


DURHAM: The Ontario Government is investing an additional $202 million annually in the province's Homelessness Prevention Program and Indigenous Supportive Housing Program (ISHP), bringing Ontario's total yearly investment in these programs to close to $700 million. The additional funding will help those experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of the same and support community organizations delivering supportive housing.

"This new funding builds on the Government's investment of nearly $4.4 billion, over the past three years, to grow and enhance community and supportive housing in our community," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge.

"As part of this funding, the Region of Durham will be receiving over $18.6 million, annually, through the Homelessness Prevention Program. This is an increase of more than $7.1 million – or about 62 percent - over last year."

"An additional $7,147,800 in Homelessness Prevention and Supportive Housing will have a big impact on the ability, of towns/cities within the Region of Durham, to provide residents with the support and resources they need," said Lorne Coe, Whitby MPP and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier. "I look forward to continuing to work with Regional Chair Henry, as we work to implement coordinated responses to the housing challenges in our communities."

The additional funding, announced in the 2023 Budget, represents a 40 percent increase in province-wide 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 support.

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 homelessness or who are at risk of the same.

"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 percent. 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."

"Like many major municipalities across Ontario, Durham Region is not immune to homelessness and housing issues which affect far too many individuals and families," said Todd McCarthy, MPP for Durham. "Our Government's latest announcement of increased funding will better serve Durham Region with additional resources available, to provide more emergency shelter spaces, supportive housing, seniors' housing and short-term housing programs."

"Our Government will fund more organizations which serve Ontarians, who are in need or have trouble paying their rent, thanks to this increased infusion of funding," said Patrice Barnes, MPP for Ajax. "We are aware, many of these individuals are families with children, which may impair their ability to obtain an education. A child will have more alternatives in the future if they live in stable housing, which also boosts their chances of getting an education."

The increased funding is a result of a revised funding model which 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 no service manager receives a decrease in funding, compared to 2022-23, as a result of the transition to the new model.

"Supportive housing provides people in need with a roof over their heads. It also connects them with services which provide a hand up, to improve their circumstances, including mental health support and job training," said Nina Tangri, Associate Minister for Housing. "Our Government met with partners and stakeholders across the province this past fall. We heard their concerns and are addressing their valuable feedback, to improve Ontario's supportive housing system. This investment will make a real impact to support housing providers [who] help vulnerable Ontarians each and every day."

"Homelessness is a growing challenge in our community, and everyone deserves a place to call home. This investment will help fund supportive housing programs, community outreach services and housing-focused shelter programs, [all] critical supports [which] address the needs of Durham Region's vulnerable residents. This announcement will help us continue to build strong, healthy communities; and contribute to our goal of reducing homelessness." explained John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer.

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 which 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.

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