Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy

News release

The Government of Canada announces new details on strategy to reduce chronic homelessness by 50% over the next ten years

November 5, 2018 Hamilton, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada

Homelessness has an impact on every community in Canada. It affects a diverse cross‑section of the population including individuals, families, women with children, veterans, youth, seniors and people with disabilities. In 2016, an estimated 133,000 people experienced homelessness at an emergency shelter.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced additional details of Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, the redesigned federal homelessness program. The Government of Canada has committed $2.2 billion over 10 years to tackle homelessness through Reaching Home, reinforcing its community-based approach. Overall investments in Reaching Home will continue to build. Total investments will double to reach $237M annually starting in 2021-22, up from a base of $119.3M in 2015-16.

Reaching Home is part of Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy—a 10-year $40-billion plan to lift hundreds and thousands of Canadians out of housing need, resulting in up to 100,000 new housing units and 300,000 repaired or renewed housing units.

Through these significant investments, Reaching Home aims to support communities in achieving significant reductions in homelessness across the country. Over the next nine years, the Government of Canada aims to place close to 160,000 people in more stable housing.

“I’m pleased to announce new details of Reaching Home—the redesigned federal homelessness strategy at the National Conference to End Homelessness in Hamilton. Through Reaching Home, we are empowering communities like Hamilton to help meet the target of reducing chronic homelessness by 50% over the next 10 years. Hamilton is a leader in tackling homelessness having placed almost 1,500 people in more stable housing through federal support in the past 5 years.”

– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“As Chair of the Advisory Committee on Homelessness, I’m pleased to see that what we heard from Canadians, especially those with lived experience, has informed Reaching Home. Through Reaching Home we are taking concrete actions to reducing homelessness in our communities.”

—Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“Reaching Home introduces some major innovations in the prevention and reduction of homelessness Canada as a data-driven, performance-based program. It’s based on helping communities adopt proven approaches —such as Housing First, By-Name Lists and Coordinated Access Systems—that are being used on the ground in a growing number of communities who are having success in reducing homelessness. I think Reaching Home has the potential to exceed its objective to reduce chronic homelessness by 50% and lay important groundwork for the elimination of homelessness in Canada.”

– Tim Richter, Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness

Quick facts

  • Building on Budget 2016 funding of $111.8 million over two years, the Government of Canada announced a total investment of $2.2 billion for homelessness over 10 years as part of the National Housing Strategy.. The first year of these investments has enabled the Government of Canada to maintain increased funding for 2018-19. By 2021–22, this will double annual investments compared to 2015–16.

  • For Designated Communities this represents an investment of $1.25B over the next nine years. This will result in an increase for every community and support an expansion to new communities. By 2021-22, this represents a 70% increase over 2015-16 levels.

  • A new territorial stream will be introduced, with an investment of $43M over the next nine years. By 2021-22, this represents an almost 300% increase in funding available in the territories over 2015-16 levels.

  • Under Budget 2016, investments in the Rural and Remote Homelessness Stream were doubled. This will be maintained resulting in an investment of $98M over nine years.

  • In order to support communities in their implementation of Reaching Home and to foster innovation in the sector, a new Community Capacity and Innovation stream will be introduced. Through this stream, $74M over the next nine years will be dedicated to support training, technical assistance and innovative projects.

  • Funding to address Indigenous homelessness will be increased significantly over the next nine years. The Government of Canada is engaging with National Indigenous Organizations and Indigenous service providers to develop an approach for allocating the additional funding to prevent and reduce Indigenous homelessness.

  • In Quebec, the federal homelessness programming is delivered through a formal Canada-Quebec agreement that respects the jurisdiction and priorities of both governments in addressing homelessness. Since 2001, five agreements for joint implementation of federal homelessness programming have been concluded, including the current agreement for 2014−2019. In order to implement Reaching Home and allocate funds in Quebec beyond April 1, 2019, negotiations are underway with the Quebec government with the objective of concluding a sixth Canada-Quebec agreement.

  • Reaching Home will replace the existing Homelessness Partnering Strategy on April 1, 2019.

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