Government Of Canada Launches New Program To Help Put An End To Veteran Homelessness
Ottawa, April 27, 2023 — Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence and Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre announced $79.1 million in funding for the new Veteran Homelessness Program.
This program will provide housing supports and services to veterans experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. The Government of Canada is committed to ending chronic homelessness among veterans, and this new program is a significant step towards achieving that goal.
The Veteran Homelessness Program is part of the National Housing Strategy, a suite of federal housing initiatives designed to improve access to affordable and safe housing for all Canadians. The program will provide $72.9 million in funding for rent supplements and wrap-around services, such as counselling and treatment for substance use, through its Services and Supports Stream. In addition, the Capacity Building Stream will provide $6.2 million in funding to support research on veteran homelessness and capacity building.
Eligible recipients, including veteran-serving organizations, can apply to either or both funding streams through an online portal on the Infrastructure Canada website. The portal will open for 8 weeks beginning on April 28, 2023 and is expected to close on June 23, 2023.
“Canadian veterans have served and sacrificed in the name of our country, and we owe them our support. In many cases, long-standing service-related disabilities or mental health and substance use issues can make it difficult to secure and maintain housing. The Veteran Homelessness Program will provide comprehensive support, such as rent supplements and wrap around supports, to veterans experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness designed to meet their specific needs. While we continue to work with our partners to end chronic homelessness, we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring no veteran goes homeless again.”
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
“Veterans and their families deserve a safe and affordable place to call home. Working with local grassroots groups like Ottawa Inner City Ministries and Homes for Heroes has done a lot to support Veterans, but one homeless Veteran is one too many. The new Veteran Homelessness Program will go a long way to build on that work and help us end chronic homelessness among Veterans.”
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“The announcement today by the Government of Canada of the new Veteran Homelessness Program is very much welcomed by the Innercity Veterans Outreach and Support program. As one of the many Veteran organizations across Canada who provide support to homeless Veterans, we know through our work that homeless Veterans need our continued support to find stable housing. This new program will now make the necessary financial support available to those Veterans and Veteran organizations to find the housing that our Veterans need.”
Lieutenant-General (retired) Walter Semianiw
Innercity Veterans Outreach and Support Program
The Government of Canada announced in the Budget 2021 $45 million for a pilot program aimed at reducing Veteran homelessness. To ensure that longer-term support is in place, Budget 2022 provided $62.2 million (includes Operations and Maintenance of the program) over three years for Infrastructure Canada, with support from Veterans Affairs Canada, to launch a new Veteran Homelessness Program. Overall, these two Budget decisions resulted in a total of approximately $107 million over five years starting in 2022-23.
Details about the two funding streams:
- Services and Supports Stream – $72.9 million (rent supplements and wrap-around services such as counselling and addiction treatment)
- Capacity Building Stream – $6.2 million (research and improved data collection; increased capacity of organizations to deliver tailored programs).
The Veteran Homelessness Program will support Veterans who are at-risk or experiencing homelessness in securing and maintaining housing and addressing underlying issues. While some clients may need ongoing access to rent supplements and wrap-around services, with the right supports, it is expected that many will transition to independent living over time.
According to Census 2021, there were an estimated 461,240 Canadian Veterans. It is estimated there are more than 2,600 Veterans experiencing homelessness.
Infrastructure Canada and Veterans Affairs Canada will work in partnership to implement the program, with the first projects announced in fall 2023.
Canada's National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $82-plus billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.
- NHS is built on strong partnerships between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and continuous engagement with others, including municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, and the social and private housing sectors. This includes consultations with Canadians from all walks of life, and people with lived experience of housing need.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Erika Lashbrook Knutson
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
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