Committee Update: Committee approves investments in homelessness prevention

A graphic with Ottawa City Hall is in the background. A vertical grey stripe and a horizontal purple stripe are in the foreground with "Community Services Committee " in the centre.

The City’s Community Services Committee today, May 23, approved proposed spending for 2023 and 2024 under the provincial Homelessness Prevention Program.  

The City would invest its $48.5 million in provincial funding as follows:  

  • Street and community outreach and support services: $2.6 million
  • Emergency shelter solutions: $21.4 million 
  • Housing assistance: $8.2 million
  • Supportive housing: $13.8 million
  • Administration: $2.4 million 

This investment would provide long-term housing allowances, a landlord damage fund for Ottawa’s Housing First program, outreach to those living outdoors, emergency shelters and transitional housing, accommodations and other expenses for Residential Services Homes, and a variety of other services and supports. The City would also pilot a new housing benefit for large families experiencing chronic homelessness.  

The City has advocated for more funding since the Province announced its funding plans. Should more funds be forthcoming, the City would invest based on community need.  

The City would also consolidate three existing municipal funding streams into a unified homelessness funding portfolio of $28.3 million, which would give the City flexibility to respond to emerging local needs and to invest where the funds will be most effective. 

To ensure compliance with provincial reporting timelines, Council will consider this item on Wednesday, May 24. 

The Committee also approved updates to nine of the City’s local rules governing administration of rent-geared-to-income assistance to reflect recent provincial legislative updates. The Province made changes to the Housing Services Act that generally prioritize assistance for those most in need, simplify and streamline administration, and set consistent timelines for households to pursue income, report household changes and maintain eligibility to receive assistance. The City is required to update its policies to comply with these changes by July.

This report will rise to Council on Wednesday, June 14. 

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