TORONTO— The Ontario government is investing $10 million in new annual funding to provide Indigenous-led, culturally appropriate long-term housing solutions and support services to Indigenous people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Indigenous people looking for supportive housing often struggle to find culturally appropriate accommodations that meet their unique needs. Through a partnership with the Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services and Miziwe Biik Development Corporation, this investment will help provide better, safer and secure access to housing to more Indigenous people who need it.
This new funding can be used for longer-term housing solutions such as supportive housing, transitional housing, rent supplements and housing allowances, and help to avoid emergency-based responses like shelters. It will provide a secure, predictable source of funding for Indigenous housing providers to deliver culturally appropriate supportive housing services to support the health and well-being of Indigenous people in their communities.
“Since day one, our government has worked closely with Indigenous program partners to understand their unique housing needs because we know that ensuring access to safe, stable housing is foundational to positive health, education, and employment outcomes,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “With this new funding, we will continue to work with all our partners to help build long-term housing solutions that provide culturally appropriate services by and for Indigenous people, and support thriving, prosperous communities across Ontario.”
In addition to supportive housing, this $10 million in new annual funding through Roadmap to Wellness, Ontario’s plan to build a connected mental health and addictions system, can also be used to provide a wide range of wraparound services and supports including hiring mental health and addiction workers, providing harm reduction services, medication assistance, and crisis intervention and prevention services.
“Since first taking office, I have travelled to many Indigenous communities across the province and have seen the lack of culturally sensitive and safe supportive housing that meets the unique needs of Indigenous peoples in Ontario,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. "This investment is an important step forward in ensuring Indigenous peoples have better and quicker access to safe and secure housing, as well as access to the services they need, when and where they need them."
“Supporting the health and well-being of Indigenous people across Ontario is an ongoing priority for our government,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “Through our government’s partnership with Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services and Miziwe Biik Development Corporation, this new funding will help provide housing assistance and support services for Indigenous people that meet their unique needs.”
As announced in Ontario’s Fall Economic Statement, the Ontario government is helping to get shovels in the ground for housing, including supportive housing as well as other key community infrastructure, to build a better and brighter future for people in every corner of Ontario.
- This investment is part of Roadmap to Wellness, our government’s plan to invest $3.8 billion over 10 years to build a modern, connected and comprehensive mental health and addictions system.
- This builds on Ontario’s investment of more than $36 million in Indigenous mental health and addictions supports.
- Through its Community Housing Renewal Strategy and response to COVID-19, Ontario is investing over $3 billion in 2020-21 and 2021-22 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and address homelessness in Ontario. This includes over $1 billion through the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF), which is one of the biggest investments the province has made in affordable housing in Ontario’s history.
- Ontario’s action on affordable and supportive housing, which includes this new $10 million in funding for Indigenous supportive housing, complements its ongoing efforts to address affordability for market rate housing through engaging with municipalities, the public through our online public consultation, and industry leaders through the Housing Affordability Task Force.
"We are thankful for our positive and constructive relationship with Minister Clark, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Government of Ontario. This funding that centers on supports for mental health and addictions is vital for supporting the people we serve in urban, rural, and northern areas across Ontario. It’s notable that the support for our communities continues after housing development, and this funding ensures that supports and needs are fulfilled."
- Coralee McGuire-Cyrette
Chair, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services
"The provision of a dedicated funding stream, that provides both housing assistance and support services to address health and well-being, will be a huge asset for our Indigenous community. The funding will support long-term housing stability for a vulnerable population who requires additional assistance in obtaining housing and remaining housed."
- Lorna Lawrence
Executive Director, Miziwe Biik Development Corporation