Liberals to unveil changes to key program fighting homelessness today

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TORONTO — Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is unveiling changes to the Homelessness Partnering Strategy today and the rules governing $2.1 billion in program funds that will be spent over the next decade.

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.

Despite some successes, the program has come under criticism for having burdensome reporting requirements and too restrictive a scope.

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 announcement in Toronto will mark the latest piece of a national poverty-reduction strategy the Liberals have promised to deliver in its entirety by next year.

The Canadian Press