Province provides one-time funding for housing programsThursday, January 03, 2013 by: Kate Adams
District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board
A one-time funding grant from the Province to the District of Nipissing will be used to help prevent homelessness in our community. On December 27th, the Minister of Community and Social Services, John Milloy, announced $42 million will be provided to eligible municipalities in Ontario to bridge the transition between two provincial housing programs. The Nipissing District’s share has been tentatively set at approximately $600,000.
According to the Ministry media release, “The funding will assist eligible municipalities as they develop and implement their Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) plans. Funds will be allocated to meet the needs of the most vulnerable Ontarians - including social assistance recipients - to ensure their stability through this period of transition as plans are developed.”
The new CHPI program replaces the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB), which was eliminated on January 1st, 2013. This change left the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB) with a shortfall of about $800,000; money which had been used to stabilize individuals and families in receipt of social assistance.
DNSSAB Chair George Maroosis says the newly allocated funding means the DNSSAB will be better able to meet citizen’s needs. “We are very pleased with Minister Malloy’s recent announcement. The considerable cut in funding with the elimination of the CSUMB caused us a great deal of concern and we made the Minister aware of that through letters and meetings, as did many other municipalities and service delivery agents across Ontario. Minister Malloy obviously listened to our concerns.”
Social Services Director with the DNSSAB, Bonnie Kraemer, says the announcement is good news for the Nipissing District. “This impelling announcement is welcome news for DNSSAB, our community partners and our citizens as we work together to prevent homelessness in our community in 2013.”
Tom Belanger, Housing Services Director with the DNSSAB adds that the one-time funding will assist in preventing homelessness. “The additional funds will certainly provide some stability to the current homelessness services as the DNSSAB begins consulting with our citizens and
partners on developing a new preventative homelessness services system for 2014 and beyond.”
The money must be spent by March 31, 2014. Municipalities will need to outline their plans for the additional funding and report back on how the funds were used.