Ontario Helps Protect Most Vulnerable People Across the Province

Published on October 28, 2020

Funding will support local shelters, provide rent relief and build longer-term housing solutions during COVID-19

News Release

TORONTO —The Ontario government 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," said Minister Clark. "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.

Quick Facts

  • In March, Ontario launched the Social Services Relief Fund with an initial $148 million investment to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. In July, an additional $150 million was committed to help improve shelters and create opportunities for longer-term housing. In August, Ontario committed another $212 million in funding, bringing the government’s assistance to service managers and Indigenous program administrators to $510 million.
  • Ontario’s service managers and Indigenous program administrators help provide shelter or housing for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, victims of domestic violence, and members of Indigenous communities who are in need.
  • In September, the Ontario government passed the Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act, which freezes rent in 2021 for the vast majority of Ontario’s 1.7 million renters in both rent-controlled and non-rent-controlled residential units.

Additional Resources