MMAH Release: June 12, 1998

Province assumes responsibility for special needs housing

The province will assume approximately $54 million in costs for dedicated supportive housing and domiciliary hostels across Ontario, rather than devolving them to municipalities. Both of these types of housing serve individuals with special needs including: individuals with developmental disabilities, people with mental illness, frail elderly individuals and people with addiction problems.

"The province is committed to meeting the housing requirements of people with special needs," said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Al Leach. "This decision helps the government provide integrated administration of housing and support services. At the same time municipalities will have lower housing costs."

The province will retain 100 per cent of the costs of dedicated supportive housing, rather than transferring it to municipalities as part of the provincial-municipal realignment of services. This will save municipalities approximately $40 million annually province-wide. It will also streamline the administration of dedicated supportive housing by providing single-source funding.

Municipalities will save a further $14 million with the province's decision to resume funding 80 per cent of the costs of domiciliary hostels. This is in response to an early recommendation of the province's Task Force on Homelessness.

"Our recommendation is based on what we heard from providers, advocates and municipalities," said Jack Carroll, MPP, Chair of the Task Force. "The province is committed to assessing the levels of service provided to domiciliary hostel clients as part of a broader review of approaches that will most effectively meet the housing requirements of clients with special needs."

This change is retroactive to January 1, 1998, and will not affect the money available to municipalities through the Community Reinvestment Fund.

For more information call:
Nicholas But
Housing Policy Branch
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
(416) 585-6517

Anne Dundas
Minister's Office
(416) 585-6486