Affordable Housing and Ending Homelessness
Our government envisions an Ontario where every person has an affordable, suitable and adequate home. Through Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, the government has set a bold long-term goal to end homelessness.
Decent housing is more than shelter; it provides stability, security and dignity. It plays a key role in reducing poverty and building strong, inclusive communities.
Find housing and housing assistance
Ontario’s affordable housing and homelessness programs are administered by municipalities and District Social Services Administration Boards, known as Service Managers, who know their communities’ needs best.
If you are a housing provider or Service Manager, visit this site for more resources.
What we’re doing to end homelessness in Ontario
Poverty Reduction Strategy
The new Poverty Reduction Strategy — Realizing Our Potential — will expand Ontario’s poverty reduction efforts to reach more vulnerable people and will continue to reduce poverty in Ontario. Visit the Poverty Reduction Strategy Office’s website to read about the strategy.
Updating the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy
Launched in 2010, the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy was the first of its kind in Ontario. It set out a road map to create a flexible, community-centered approach to housing and related service delivery.
The government is currently updating the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy to reflect new research and best practices. A new strategy will be completed in the new year.
We are also reviewing input we’ve received through consultations with the public, other ministries, non-profits, community groups and the private sector.
Measuring Homelessness in Ontario
As part of the Province’s efforts to end chronic homelessness by 2025 and the long-term goal to end homelessness, the government is introducing a provincial requirement to conduct local enumeration (counts) of people experiencing homelessness.
Homeless enumeration will help Service Managers and the government better understand the scale and nature of homelessness across the province, as well as inform current and future policy development and program design.
Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness
In 2015, the government established an Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness. The Panel was asked to provide practical input on definitions and data collection methods related to homelessness, and provide advice on developing a new target related to homelessness. The Panel presented its final report to government, A Place to Call Home, which will help support a solid foundation for evidence-based housing and homelessness prevention policies, and inform the government’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy update.
In response to the Panel’s report, the government announced a number of immediate and long-term steps it will take to work together with its public, non-profit and private sector partners, and local communities to work towards its vision of ending homelessness.
Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative
This program aims to prevent, address, and reduce homelessness by improving access to adequate, suitable and affordable housing that is linked to flexible support services based on people’s needs. This program supports individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Investment in Affordable Housing program
In August 2014, Ontario signed an agreement with the federal government to extend the Investment in Affordable Housing program. More than $801 million in new funding will be available over the next five years to improve access to affordable housing that is suitable and sustainable for households across Ontario.
2016 Social Infrastructure Fund
The 2016 federal budget announced the federal government’s Social Infrastructure Fund (2016 SIF) that included the following investments in housing:
An increase to the funding commitment under the current Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) program (totalling $168.3 million over two years);
- Funding for the construction and renovation of affordable housing for seniors ($67.2 million over two years);
- Funding for the renovation and retrofit of social housing ($209.3 million in 2016/17); and
- Funding for the construction and renovation of shelters and transitional housing for survivors of domestic violence ($27.9 million over two years).
The province is cost-matching the increase to the IAH Program over a three year period, resulting in over $640 million in new housing funding through the 2016 SIF for Ontario.
The Program Guidelines describes the various program components for the additional IAH funding and seniors funding (to be delivered as one program – 2016 SIF IAH), and the program requirements for the renovation and retrofit of social housing program – to be known as the Social Housing Improvement Program (SHIP).