Thursday, July 11, 2024

Government Assistance For The Homeless

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Rental Assistance Reduces Poverty

Strathcona residents take to the streets calling for government help for homeless people

Rental assistance not only enables families to meet their housing needs but also, by lowering their rental costs, leaves them with more resources to meet other basic needs. When this effect is taken into account, rental assistance lifted 3 million people above the poverty line in 2018 under the federal governments Supplemental Poverty Measure, which counts non-cash benefits as well as cash. This included about 665,000 elderly people more than any other government program except Social Security and 936,000 children.

Families with rental assistance can better afford items like food, medical care, and clothing, since families with high rent burdens often must divert resources away from those needs. Among families in the bottom fourth of total expenditures, those paying over half of their income for rent spent significantly less on food and health care than families with lower housing costs. Research shows that when families receive rental assistance, they are substantially likelier to be able to afford adequate food. They also experience lower economic stress, measured by indicators such as whether the family can afford needed clothing and medical care and has some money left over at the end of the month.

Housing For Young People

Youthabs Transition Home provides safe and affordable housing to young people aged 16 24 who are looking for a home but are not ready to live on their own yet.

Youthabs Co-Operative Housing Program provides safe and affordable housing to young people aged 16 24 who are ready for semi-independent living.

Implications For Core Housing Need 2011 To 2018

Since 2011, the number of households in core housing need has increased while the number of households receiving housing support from provincial programs has decreased. Between 2011 and 2018, the number of households in core housing need grew from 616,900 to 735,000, an increase of 118,100 households, or 19.1 per cent. Over the same period, the number of households receiving housing support declined by 12,300 or 4.0 per cent, from 309,500 to 297,200 households.

Figure 3-7: Change in households in core housing need and households receiving housing support, 2011 to 2018

The increase in households in core housing need between 2011 and 2018 was driven by an increase in housing costs that outpaced income growth, and by demographic changes. It was further exacerbated by the reduction in housing support under the Provinces housing programs. Importantly, the number of RGI housing units, which is the only type of housing support that guarantees a household is removed from core housing need, declined by 7.6 per cent over this period.

Figure 3-8: Ontarios social housing wait list, 2011 to 2018

Note: The Provinces social housing wait list represents a compilation of data received from municipal service managers. It may include double counting of individuals on multiple local wait lists.Source: FAO analysis of information provided by MMAH.

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Projects For Assistance In Transition Fromhomelessness

Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness is a federally funded program administered by the federal Center for Mental Health Services through grants to state mental health agencies. These state agencies provide PATH-funded services to homeless people with mental illness primarily through local or regional mental health service providers. PATH funds can be used for outreach, screening, diagnostic treatment, habilitation, rehabilitation, community mental health services, case management, supportive and supervisory services in residential settings, and other housing-related services.

Homeless Services Grantee Training

ECSU Student Government Holds Homeless Awareness Campaign, Food Drive ...

Commerce homeless grants require service providers to demonstrate competency and equity in best practices. Our goal is that these trainings prepare grantees with the knowledge and tools needed to foster resiliency on an individual, programmatic and agency-level, strengthening their communitys response to homelessness.

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Rental Assistance Improves Adults Well

Rental assistance can also improve outcomes for adults, most significantly by enabling them to experience better mental health and, in some cases, physical health. Studies find that rental assistance sharply reduces psychological distress among adults in homeless families . It likely does so, in part, by easing the stress on family members by reducing the risk of eviction, homelessness, and other housing instability, as well as easing the anxiety that comes each month from having to balance excessive rental costs against meeting the familys other basic needs. Evidence also shows that rental assistance reduces domestic violence and alcohol and drug use among adults.

For people with complex health needs, particularly those who are homeless, rental assistance is a key element of successful strategies to improve access to health care and may reduce health system costs and improve their health. Supportive housing a housing strategy that combines rental assistance with intensive, coordinated services, such as assistance finding housing and building relationships with landlords, chronic disease management, and help addressing mental health or substance use conditions can help people with complex health needs get appropriate care by reducing use of emergency health services and increasing use of outpatient services.

Impact On Households Supported

The FAO projects that the number of households supported by the Provinces housing programs will increase by 55,300, from 297,200 in 2018-19 to 352,500 in 2027-28. This consists of an increase of 45,200 households supported by rent supplements and 15,100 additional RGI units. These increases are partially offset by a loss of 5,000 below-market rent units.

Figure 5-2: Projected number of households supported under the Provinces housing programs from 2018-19 to 2027-28

In 2027-28, of the projected 352,500 households that will receive housing support, the FAO estimates that 205,300 households will be supported through the three new NHS housing programs, while the remaining 147,200 households will be supported by legacy housing programs.

As outlined in Chapter 4, the Provinces target under the NHS is to support 209,048 households in 2027-28. Based on the FAOs review, the three new NHS housing programs will support approximately 205,300 households in 2027-28, which is 3,700 less than the Provinces target. The difference occurs in the FAOs projection for the COHB program, which will only have funding that is sufficient to support 46,919 recipients, rather than the 50,623 recipients targeted by the Province.

Figure 5-3: Breakdown of the projected 352,500 households that will receive housing program support in 2027-28

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Regina Mayor Hopeful To Have Shelter For Homeless Within Weeks

The Mayor of Regina hopes to see action taken soon to help those without a home with winter.

The Government of Saskatchewan announced $1.7 million in additional funding in 2022-23 to increase the number of emergency shelter spaces in the province,

$800,000 will go to community partners to support seasonal cost pressures and $900,000 to increase emergency shelter capacity by up to 60 spaces this winter in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina.

Mayor Sandra Masters said she sees the citys role as similar to that of years past.

I think the citys job is the facilitation piece. Last year we covered a lease rate and utilities, and then the province funded the actual shelter, she said. We are in talks with what that looks like this year and how we serve the needs of the community in the short term and then also over the long-term what does that need to look like in the City so that we are not in this situation again.

She said there is a lack of space for them to use as a shelter.

Part of the issue is space and the requirements of the space that is needed and the availability of that, and then the willingness of landlords to rent, she said, Then there is another piece within the community about the labour capacity in terms of which organizations have the capacity to actually serve again.

She added they are hopeful they can get something figured out within the next couple of weeks.

The Provinces Homelessness Programs

Organizations call on government to help end homelessness

The Province administers three homelessness programs: the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative , Home for Good and the Indigenous Supportive Housing Program .

CHPI funds programs under two categories: people experiencing homelessness and people at risk of homelessness. For people experiencing homelessness, CHPI primarily funds temporary housing in the form of emergency shelters and transitional housing as well as related supports such as meals, cleaning services and personal care assistance. For people at risk of homelessness, CHPI provides emergency financial assistance in the form of rental and/or utility arrears to prevent people from losing their housing.

The HFG and ISHP programs both provide affordable housing and related supports targeted to households at risk of or experiencing homelessness. This includes funding for affordable rental units and rent supplements. These housing subsidies are included in the housing support discussed in Chapters 3 and 5.

Homelessness Programs Spending

In 2020-21, the Province plans to spend $990 million through its homelessness programs, which consists of $424 million in base homelessness programs spending and $566 million of spending related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Figure 6-2: Homelessness programs spending, 2013-14 to 2020-21

Note: Actual spending from 2013-14 to 2019-20. Planned spending in 2020-21.Source: FAO analysis of information provided by MMAH.

Table 6-2: Homelessness spending by program, 2015-16 to 2020-21

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Homeless Resources For Special Groups

These resources are geared toward specific audiences:



People With Mental Illness

Programs For People Who Are Homeless Or At Risk Of Becoming Homeless

These programs help people with mental illness who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless find and keep housing. To learn more about these programs, visit the adult mental health housing page.

Permanent Supportive Housing Program helps people 18 and older who are at high risk of becoming homeless find safe, affordable housing. It also helps them learn skills to keep housing and live independently.

Supported Housing Rental Assistance Program helps people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless with temporary rent subsidies, utility payments and move-in costs.

Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Program helps people with very low incomes who also have a disability and are linked with long-term services, although it does not require participation in services. This program is a partnership between the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Texas Health and Human Services Commission and eligible multifamily properties. Eight metropolitan communities in Texas participate.

Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness helps people with mental illness or substance use disorder and their families if they are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The Healthy Community Collaborative helps people get out of an unstable situation and back into housing by providing them with all available community resources.

The Project Access Pilot Program provides housing rental assistance to people who are leaving a psychiatric hospital.

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Aadditional National Housing Strategy Analysis

This appendix provides additional information on each of the three new NHS programs.

Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative

The Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative is a new social housing program that will provide $1.8 billion of federal support to preserve the existing stock of social housing in Ontario, through operating subsidies and capital repairs, and fund the creation of new social housing units. The Province is required to cost-match the federal COCHI funding however, existing municipal spending is considered sufficient to match the federal contributions. Therefore, the FAO projects that the COCHI component of the NHS will not result in new incremental provincial or municipal spending.

The cost of social housing is funded primarily by municipalities, with the remainder largely funded by the federal government through payments under the Social Housing Agreement. Between 2004-05 and 2018-19, spending funded by federal social housing transfers decreased from $456 million to $356 million. Beginning in 2019-20, spending was scheduled to decline more rapidly, decreasing to $68 million by 2027-28.

Figure 7-1: Estimated federal support for social housing in Ontario through expiring agreements and the new Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative , 2019-20 to 2027-28

Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative

Figure 7-2: Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative spending from 2018-19 to 2021-22

Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit

The Homeless Outreach Program

Borough Insight

The Homeless Outreach Program provides a first point of contact for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

This program helps people who are homeless transition to safe, permanent housing. Outreach workers connect people with key support services, taking into account the individuals specific housing, health, and cultural needs. These services help people who are homeless to transition to safe, permanent housing solutions. Outreach teams provide support in 60 communities throughout B.C.

Learn more at BC Housing about the Homeless Outreach Program.

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Grant Programs And Services

SAMHSAs formula and discretionary grant programs support many types of behavioral health treatments and recovery-oriented services. SAMHSAs services increase access to disability income benefits for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk for homelessness. Learn more about grant programs and services:

A Timeline Of Government Involvement

Since 1860 the federal government has been actively involved with the housing industry, specifically the low-income housing industry. In 1860 the government conducted the first partial census of housingby counting slave dwellings. Twenty years later the U.S. census focused on the living quarters of the rest of the population, conducting a full housing census. Since then the federal government has played an increasingly larger role in combating housing problems in the United States:

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What Your Loan Servicer Must Do If You Request Forbearance

If you’re having trouble making payments on your federally backed mortgage because of the COVID-19 pandemic, contact your loan servicer. They must:

  • Defer or reduce your payments for six months if you contact them to make arrangements.

  • You can request an extension if you need it. For most loans, your forbearance can be extended up to 12 months.

  • Offer options for how you can make up the deferred or reduced payments. They will discuss these options with you at the end of your forbearance period.

  • Va Loans To Buy Refinance Or Improve A Home

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    The Department of Veterans Affairs offers home loans and grants. These programs help service members, veterans, and surviving spouses to buy, refinance, or modify their homes. The VA guarantees part of the loan, meaning they will cover a portion of the loan if you default. Doing this allows lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies, to offer you more favorable terms.

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    What Is The City Doing To Address Homelessness

    The city is actively working with its partners to address the regional homelessness problem from the ground up. Dianne Wilmore, the city’s homelessness liaison, and Hope RPD officers work with the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care outreach providers to communicate weekly with persons unsheltered in the city, offering shelter and services to those who will accept help. It’s not uncommon for unsheltered persons to reject that offer as shelters often require their residents to meet specific standards. For example, many shelters have a curfew, no-animal policy, restrict the use of drugs and alcohol, or only offer shelter to a particular gender for safety purposes. This issue is more relevant when the weather is mild, as some unsheltered persons are more comfortable staying outside and maintaining a lifestyle or habits that are not prohibited by shelters during specific seasons.

    Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the city and its partners have worked hard to provide shelter and services to those who need it most. At the height of the Pandemic, Richmond Urban Ministry Institute provided more than 700 people with case management, meals, medication, transportation, and other services in both congregate and non-congregate spaces. Between March 1st, 2020, and February 28th, 2021, there were over 3,000 individuals sheltered by GRCoC.

    The Inclement Weather Shelter

    Funding supports the proposed project using a two-pronged approach.

    Department Of Housing And Urban Development

    Continuum of Care Program

    The CoC Program provides funding to both nonprofit and state organizations for three central goals: quickly rehousing families, promoting access to programs for people experiencing homelessness and encouraging self-sufficiency for homeless families and individuals. In fiscal year 2015, CoC provided about $1.9 billion to new and continued projects in all 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia.

    Emergency Solutions Grants Program

    The ESG Program provides funding for a range of homeless services, from engaging with families and individuals living on the street to preventive services to keep families and individuals housed. For fiscal year 2016, the ESG awarded $270 million to grantees.

    The Family Unification Program is a program under which Housing Choice Vouchers are provided to two different populations. According to HUD, the following populations are eligible for FUP vouchers:

  • Families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in:
  • The imminent placement of the familys child or children in out-of-home care,
  • The delay in the discharge of the child or children to the family from out-of-home care.
  • The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 changed the eligibility requirements and length of services for youth aging out of foster care from 21 years old to 24 years old and from 18 months to 36 months, respectively.

    Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS

    Title V Surplus Property Program

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    Characteristics Of Voucher Residents

    Although tenant-voucher residents have a fractionally higher average household income than public housing residents, they also have a larger family size. Therefore, two-thirds of voucher users and a little more than

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    Vouchers Should Be a Major Component of Future Housing Policy for the Lowest Income Families,” vol. 5, no. 2, 2001) that tenant-based voucher programs give low-income people choices in housing and avoid problems of concentrating all poor people in housing projects.

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