GATINEAU, Québec – The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, today provided further details regarding the increase in funding to the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) that was announced as part of Budget 2016 support for social infrastructure. The additional investment will provide communities across Canada with the flexibility and support they need to help prevent and reduce homelessness.
One of the Government of Canada’s priorities is to empower all Canadians to build better lives for themselves and to enable them to contribute to and share in the prosperity of our society. In order to meet this commitment, the Government recognizes that it must respond to the pressing and unmet needs of communities across the country with regards to homelessness.
As a result, Budget 2016 will invest an additional $111.8 million to enhance services to address homelessness through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy over two years, starting in 2016-17. More than $12.5 million of that new funding will be invested towards the Innovative Solutions to Homelessness (ISH) stream. That important increase will allow a wide range of organizations and stakeholders to develop and test innovative approaches to prevent and reduce homelessness – particularly among specific homeless populations such as Indigenous Canadians, youth, women fleeing violence and veterans.
Furthermore, this investment will provide increased funding for the 61 Designated Communities and will ensure that more communities across Canada have access to HPS funding by creating more flexibility under the Rural and Remote Homelessness stream. Details regarding funding allocations will be provided to Designated Communities in the coming weeks.
Budget 2016 also announced a broad engagement process with provinces and territories, Indigenous and other communities and key stakeholders in the coming year to develop a National Housing Strategy. In this context, the Government of Canada will engage in a consultation process as we move forward on the design and implementation of future investments in housing and homelessness.
Budget 2016 $111.8 million investment to address homelessness is the first increase since the creation of the National Homelessness Initiative in 1999.
Since its launch, nearly 35,000 Canadians who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless have benefitted from education and training opportunities; over 34,000 have received help to find work; more than 6,000 new shelter beds have been created; and have helped place over 82,000 people in more stable housing.
“Every segment of our society must be treated with dignity and respect and be given the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution. The face of homelessness is changing and we have to adapt to provide the adequate support to communities to build capacity to help homeless population’s lead valuable lives. That is why, through Budget 2016, we are increasing funding to meet the needs of communities across the country to prevent and reduce homelessness and to explore innovative ways to address specific homeless populations,” said the Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.