Homelessness Partnering Strategy

Budget 2014

The Government has renewed the Homelessness Partnering Strategy as announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, and continues to work with communities, provinces and territories and the private and not-for-profit sectors to implement a Housing First approach to homelessness.

The Government is committed to ensuring that vulnerable Canadians who experience extended or repeated periods of homelessness have access to quality housing. Economic Action Plan 2013 announced nearly $600 million over five years starting April 2014 to renew and refocus the Homelessness Partnering Strategy using a Housing First approach. The Housing First approach involves giving people who are homeless a place to live, and then providing necessary supports to help them stabilize their lives and recover. As demonstrated by the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s At Home/Chez Soi project, the Housing First approach is an effective method to reduce homelessness and help those with mental illness. Through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, the Government is implementing the Economic Action Plan 2013 commitment, and continues to work with communities, provinces and territories and the private and not-for-profit sectors to find flexible and effective ways to respond to homelessness.

Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes $119 million per year over five years, from March 2014 until March 2019, to renew the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) using a "Housing First" approach. This represents nearly $600 million in new funding. The "Housing First" approach involves first giving people who are homeless a place to live, and then providing the necessary supports (e.g. for mental illness) to help them stabilize their lives and recover as best as possible. It has been proven to be an effective way to reduce homelessness.

About the program

The HPS seeks to address homelessness by working in partnership with communities, provinces and territories, other federal departments and the private and not-for-profit sectors. Through its community-based approach, the HPS provides communities with the flexibility and tools to identify and address their own distinct homelessness needs and priorities. HPS funding is invested in local priorities identified by communities thorough a comprehensive community planning process involving a range of local stakeholders.

Who is eligible

The following groups are eligible to receive HPS funding and act as coordinators for activities: not-for-profit organizations; individuals; municipal governments; for profit enterprises; research organizations and institutes; public health and educational institutions; Band/tribal councils; and other Aboriginal organizations. In Quebec, Health and Social Services Agencies are also eligible for funding, consistent with the formal Canada-Quebec agreement.

How it works

Through the HPS, eligible organizations may receive grants and contributions funding for projects to help prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. The HPS is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to 61 designated communities as well as Aboriginal and rural and remote communities across Canada. The HPS recognizes that communities are best placed to identify and address their own homelessness-related needs.

Progress to date

Since the launch of the HPS in April 2007, the Government has approved over $750 million for projects to prevent and reduce homelessness across Canada. Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes to renew the HPS until March 2019 using a "Housing First" approach. Over the coming months, federal officials in Human Resources and Skills Development Canada will work with partners at the provincial, territorial and community levels to implement the HPS renewal.

Find out more

For more information on the HPS, please visit the Employment and Social Development Canada website.

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