Ontario Appoints Panel to Look at Ending Long-term Homelessness
Province Taking Steps to address Homelessness
Ontario is taking an important step to help break the cycle of poverty by establishing an Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness.
The government's new Poverty Reduction Strategy is focused on achieving better outcomes for Ontarians living in poverty such as employment opportunities, income supports, education and housing. As part of this strategy, Ontario set a bold long-term goal to end homelessness. The province will work with this new panel to get practical advice on how to best approach this goal, beginning with ways to define and measure homelessness.
The panel members have a wide range of expertise and backgrounds which will ensure the recommendations reflect the challenges of homelessness in different communities across the province. The province will develop a plan of action to end homelessness based on the panel's recommendations and will report on progress annually.
Breaking the cycle of poverty and giving every Ontarian the tools they need to succeed is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive business climate on a foundation of fiscal responsibility, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- Currently, there is no consistent definition of homelessness or methods for counting the number of people experiencing homelessness in Ontario.
- The new Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness is composed of 13 members with diverse knowledge and expertise within the sector.
- The panel will be jointly chaired by Ted McMeekin, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, President of Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
- Since 2003, Ontario’s funding commitment of over $4 billion is the largest affordable housing and homelessness program investment in the province’s history.
“This new panel will provide invaluable advice and expertise on tackling our bold long-term goal to reduce and ultimately end homelessness in this province. A home affords a stable foundation that can help people rise out of poverty.”
“Our goal to end homelessness will help us strengthen our province and our economy. When people have a place to call home, they are healthier, more ready for employment and better able to contribute to their communities. This panel will help us define the problem and determine how to improve the lives of vulnerable Ontarians.”