Phase 2 of the Social Services Relief Fund: Protecting Vulnerable People

Published on October 28, 2020

Ontario Helps Protect Vulnerable People in York Region During COVID-19
 Province provides additional funding for shelters and rent relief

York Region – The Ontario government is providing municipalities and Indigenous community partners with over $241 million to help protect the province’s most vulnerable during COVID-19, including those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Ontario York Region MPPs announced that the Regional Municipality of York will receive nearly $8,419,414 in social services relief funding. This funding will support:

  • Extending operating facilities to support self-isolation and transitional shelters;
  • Providing rent relief;
  • Installing modular housing;
  • Upgrading buildings that support those who are homeless; and
  • Retrofitting and renovating spaces on Housing with Supports properties to create supportive independent housing.

“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our communities, especially for those who are most vulnerable,” said Christine Elliott, MPP Newmarket-Aurora. “This important funding will ensure our municipal partners can continue to deliver critical supportive housing services to those who need it most.”

“The Social Services Relief Fund will help protect our most vulnerable citizens from COVID-19,” said MPP Kanapathi. “Our municipal and Indigenous partners are facing extraordinary challenges during this time. In Markham-Thornhill, those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, need these supports. This funding will go to where it’s needed most and will support long-term housing solutions for residents and community service providers.”

“2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year for many people, individuals and communities," says Paul Calandra, MPP for Markham-Stouffville. "Ontario is doing its part to ensure residents of Markham-Stouffville receive important help during this difficult time, and we will work with our local partners to ensure maximum benefit is received through effective spending.”

“The $241 million in relief funding for Ontario’s social services is the newest example of our government’s commitment to continue protecting our most vulnerable. By providing long-term housing solutions and essential supplies across York Region, we can ensure that those facing homelessness have the vital resources they need to stay protected during this global pandemic.” Said MPP Michael Parsa, for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill.

"We know that our municipal partners here in Vaughan-Woodbridge are facing extraordinary challenges as a result of the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Michael Tibollo, MPP for Vaughan-Woodbridge and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “With our investments, people and families in our community will experience faster and easier access to the services they need during these unprecedented times."

The Ontario government is investing in important projects like this to help protect the province’s most vulnerable citizens from COVID-19,” said Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York – Simcoe. “We’re working hand in hand with our local partners to make sure they have the tools and flexibility they need to keep people safe.”

“Our government is aware of the impacts of COVID-19 and the importance of continuing to support our local municipalities and most vulnerable across the province,” said Billy Pang, MPP for Markham – Unionville. “Through the Phase Two Social Services Relief Fund, it will assist service managers in York Region to acquire long-term and innovative housing solutions for our population facing various difficulties and homelessness.”

As we work towards reopening Ontario's economy, it's important that we continue to protect society's most vulnerable.  This funding will help ensure families can access basic support services in their time of need," said Thornhill MPP Gila Martow.

“This pandemic has created many challenges for the vulnerable citizens in Richmond Hill.  Our Government sees the need to protect the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless.  This funding will provide them with much-needed shelter, especially with winter around the corner.  It also resolves, in part, the long-term housing need in Richmond Hill” Daisy Wai, MPP for Richmond Hill says. 

“We are standing shoulder to shoulder with our community to ensure our most vulnerable and their families are safe, healthy and supported during these uncertain times,” said Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan.”

The provincial funding is part of the government’s $510 million investment to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people. Funding will be delivered through the Social Services Relief Fund and will go towards protecting and supporting homeless shelter staff and residents, creating or renovating over 1,500 housing units, expanding rent support programs and creating longer-term housing solutions.

“We know that our municipal and Indigenous partners are facing extraordinary challenges, which is why these significant investments are so important,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark. “Our investments are helping to build longer term solutions as well as meet ongoing, immediate needs related to COVID-19.”

The Social Services Relief Fund is part of the up to $4 billion being provided to Ontario municipalities under the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement. It will help municipalities protect the health and well-being of the people of Ontario while delivering critical public services, such as public transit and shelters, as the province continues down the path of economic recovery.

QUICK FACTS

  • In March, Ontario launched the Social Services Relief Fund with an initial $148 million investmentto help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. In July, an additional $150 million was committed to help improve shelters and create opportunities for longer-term housing. In August, Ontario committed another $212 million in funding, bringing the government’s assistance to service managers and Indigenous program administrators to $510 million.
  • Ontario’s service managers and Indigenous program administrators help provide shelter or housing for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, victims of domestic violence, and members of Indigenous communities who are in need.
  • In September, the Ontario government passed the Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act, which freezes rent in 2021 for the vast majority of Ontario’s 1.7 million renters in both rent-controlled and non-rent-controlled residential units.

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