Lib­er­als set to un­veil changes to key pro­gram fight­ing home­less­ness

StarMetro Halifax - - CANADA - The 2017 fed­eral bud­get dou­bled the amount of money the govern­ment plans to spend on the pro­gram over the next decade. De­tails on the pro­gram at thes­tar.com/canada

OT­TAWA—A cor­ner­stone fed­eral strat­egy to com­bat home­less­ness is set to re­ceive a makeover this week that’s ex­pected to fo­cus on out­comes, rather than how quickly cities are spend­ing.

The Home­less­ness Part­ner­ing Strat­egy is the key ve­hi­cle through which fed­eral money flows to cities for fund­ing lo­cal ef­forts to help peo­ple get off the streets and into homes. De­spite some suc­cesses, the pro­gram has come un­der crit­i­cism for hav­ing bur­den­some re­port­ing re­quire­ments and too re­stric­tive a scope.

So­cial De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Jean-yves Du­c­los is ex­pected to ad­dress those con­cerns Mon­day when he unveils planned changes to the Home­less­ness Part­ner­ing Strat­egy and the rules govern­ing $2.1 bil­lion in pro­gram funds to be spent over the next decade.

The govern­ment is ex­pected to take an out­comes-based ap­proach to the fund by pro­vid­ing money in ex­change for re­sults, rather than timely spend­ing. The changes are also ex­pected to al­low money to be spent on projects that are out­side the “hous­ing first” um­brella, which stip­u­lates that they find hous­ing and ser­vices for peo­ple right away, rather than re­quir­ing them to seek treat­ment first.

The govern­ment has taken a long look at the pro­gram after hear­ing com­plaints about cum­ber­some re­port­ing re­quire­ments, in­ad­e­quate fund­ing and un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions about how quickly the money could be spent.

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