Social Services Relief Fund Phase 5 Allocation

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Office of the Minister
777 Bay Street, 17th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 2J3

April 7, 2022

Bruce Killah
Board Chair, Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board
210 Mead Boulevard
Espanola, Ontario, P5E 1R9

Dear Bruce Killah:

I am pleased to be writing to you today with important details regarding an additional investment of $127.5 million we are making available through a fifth phase of the province’s Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF).

As you know, protecting the health and well-being of Ontarians has always been our government’s number one priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have made several difficult decisions to safeguard Ontarians, including public health and workplace safety measures made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other healthcare experts.

As well, we have announced multiple investments totalling over $1 billion to support Ontario’s Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators through four previous iterations of the province’s SSRF, along with other provincial investments including support to those suffering from mental health and addictions issues and funding to support isolation centre capacity in select municipalities. We know that this funding has been effective in supporting Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators to respond quickly, adapt services, and address the housing and economic impacts of COVID-19 in their communities.

However, we also know that the need for this funding will continue beyond March 31, 2022. We have heard from our municipal partners that additional funding is urgently needed to continue to protect the health and safety of vulnerable people as the province recovers from the impact of the Omicron variant.

I am pleased to confirm that the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board will receive an additional $500,000 in funding for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The province is contributing half of the funding and the federal government is contributing the other half as part of its support for municipalities.
Program Details – Social Services Relief Fund Phase 5

This funding supports operating and capital expenses to mitigate the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the homelessness sector. Funding is to be used by Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators for eligible expenses (in accordance with the enclosed Social Services Relief Fund Phase 5 Program Guidelines) beginning April 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.

SSRF Phase 5 funding could be used to help support:

Enhanced safety in emergency shelters and other congregate care settings, through:

  • continued operation of temporary emergency shelters spaces (e.g., in hotels or other facilities) to accommodate reduced overall shelter capacity resulting from COVID-19 safety requirements,
  • hiring additional staff to address capacity pressures, procuring Personal Protective Equipment, and implementing enhanced cleaning and isolation protocols,
  • increasing vaccination uptake among homeless individuals through outreach and clinics, and
  • creating isolation space to avoid COVID-19 positive individuals from being required to “shelter in place”.

Short-term, critical needs of vulnerable individuals through the provision of emergency financial assistance (e.g., rent banks, housing allowances), food security programs, and mental health and addictions and other medical services.

The creation of long-term housing solutions, including more affordable and supportive housing that will make long-term progress in addressing chronic homelessness as well as housing affordability for those most in need.

Of the additional funding, Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators may also use up to three per cent of their allocation for program administration costs.

This amendment forms part of your Homelessness Prevention Program Transfer Payment Agreement effective April 1, 2022 with Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario as represented by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (“Transfer Payment Agreement”) and any breach of any of the terms of the amendment shall constitute an Event of Default under the Transfer Payment Agreement.

Reporting Requirements – SSRF Phase 5

Reporting requirements for this fifth phase of the SSRF will be consistent with the current SSRF reporting. However, these requirements may be augmented with additional reporting to the Ministry. For example, Service Managers may be required to provide specific examples on the use of SSRF Phase 5 funding from time-to-time to demonstrate effectiveness of the investment.

To receive these additional SSRF Phase 5 funds, you are required to complete and submit the sign-back section of this letter and the enclosed Investment Plan to demonstrate how your funding allocations would be used to achieve the objectives of the program. Please return these back to the Ministry by April 30, 2022.

You may submit your signed confirmation and Investment Plan via e-mail to

The Ministry requires that all information set out in this letter regarding SSRF Phase 5 be held confidential until publicly announced by the province. The province will have sole responsibility for the initial public communication regarding the SSRF Phase 5 funding described in this letter.

After the initial public communication by the province, as with all provincial housing programs that provide funding, Service Managers must acknowledge support of the province in a form and manner as directed by the Ministry. While we understand these exciting funding opportunities are often met with anticipation by residents and community agencies, these communication protocols have been agreed to by Service Managers. If you wish to make an announcement of funding, I would like to remind you that you are required to notify your municipal services office well in advance for consideration by the province.

Again, protecting the health and well-being of all Ontarians continues to be the government’s number one priority. We sincerely appreciate your efforts to assist vulnerable people in your communities and I look forward to continuing to work together as we move forward with recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yours truly,

The Honourable Steve Clark
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

c. Fern Dominelli, Chief Administrative Officer
Cindy Couillard, Team Lead, Municipal Services Office