ADM Letter Homelessness Enumeration - March 2, 2020

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Assistant Deputy Ministers Office
Housing Division
777 Bay St., 14th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 2J3

Ministere des Affaires municipales et du Logement
Bureau du sous-ministre adjoint
Division du Logement
777, rue Bay, 14e etage
Toronto ON M7A 2J3

March 2, 2020

Dear Service Managers,

I am writing to follow up on the August 21, 2019 letter from Janet Hope informing you of the Ministry's intent to pause the requirement for Service Managers to conduct local homeless enumeration in 2020.

The first province-wide enumeration took place in 2018. While this was an important first step, there were gaps and limitations in the data. The government committed to reviewing provincial enumeration requirements and to looking at best practices that could be adopted to improve enumeration going forward.

As the local officials responsible for homelessness programs, Service Managers have the responsibility to provide the best service possible to support Ontarians in need and to use the best evidence possible to support that service provision.

Service Managers in many Ontario communities are implementing by-name lists to provide real-time data about people experiencing homelessness in their communities. By-name lists provide information that can be used to prioritize and connect people to the right housing services and supports in their area, to coordinate access to services and to track local homelessness and changes over time.

The Ministry will introduce a by-name list approach across Ontario beginning in 2021. The Ministry will work collaboratively with stakeholders over the coming months, on the implementation of a by-name list approach to ensure that future requirements are focused on achieving the best and most cost-effective outcomes for Ontarians.

The Ministry will be engaging in a series of conversations about implementing province-wide by-name lists and will be happy to answer your questions on Friday March 6, 2020 at the All 47 Service Manager Meeting in Toronto.

If you have any questions, please contact Kathryn Watson, Manager, Intergovernmental and Homelessness Unit, at 416 585-6472 or at

Once again, thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation on this initiative.


Deputy Minister
Housing Division

C: Peter Kiatipis, Director, Community Housing Policy Branch
C: Kathryn Watson, Manager, Community Housing Policy Branch