The province is providing municipalities and Indigenous community partners with over $241 million to help more than 110,000 Ontarians affected by COVID-19, including those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The provincial funding is part of the government’s $510 million investment to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people. Funding will be delivered through the Social Services Relief Fund and will be used to support homeless shelters, create or renovate more than 1,500 housing units and expand rent support programs.
“We’re working hand in hand with our communities to ensure they have the tools and flexibility they need to keep people safe,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our investments will help build long-term solutions, while meeting the ongoing and immediate needs related to COVID-19.”
Municipal service managers and Indigenous program administrators will also use the funding for longer-term housing projects. Regions such as York, Durham and Waterloo will construct modular housing units to provide supportive and transitional housing. Other regions will acquire motels to provide individual housing units for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“We know that when it comes to housing and homelessness, local communities know their needs best. That’s why we asked them to come to us with their best ideas for provincial funding,” Clark said. “These investments will ensure that our partners have the resources they need to protect our most vulnerable citizens today and in the future.”
The Social Services Relief Fund is part of the up to $4 billion being provided to Ontario municipalities under the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement. It will help municipalities protect the health and well-being of the people of Ontario while delivering critical public services, such as public transit and shelters, as the province continues down the path of economic recovery.