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 those experiencing or at risk of homelessness and support community organizations delivering supportive housing, which includes $7,019,400.00 for the City of Brantford.
“This is great news for the people of our community,” said Will Bouma, MPP for Brantford-Brant. “This additional funding will help the city continue to make the positive changes for those who need it most. I am looking forward to seeing people live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.”
For Brantford, the additional funding, announced in the 2023 Budget, represents a 40 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.
“We are grateful to the Province for this much needed additional funding,” said Kevin Davis, Mayor for the City of Brantford. “Homelessness is a very complex and challenging issue, and as such, requires a multifaceted approach involving health care, treatment programs, housing developers, non-profit organizations and social services – all working together to develop and implement innovative long-term solutions to support vulnerable populations such as those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and to assist individuals and families transition to stable housing.”
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.”
“During a time of economic challenges and change, our government is supporting those who have fallen on hard times and are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing, homelessness,” added Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “Ontario’s 2023 Budget: Building a Strong Ontario is the right plan to support those who need it the most today while laying a strong fiscal foundation for future generations.”
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.
“Supportive housing provides people in need with a roof over their heads. It also connects them with services that 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 that help vulnerable Ontarians each and every day.”