Implementation of By-Name Lists and Enumeration - February 18, 2021

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Assistant Deputy Minister’s Office
Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay Street, 14th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 2J3

February 18, 2021

Service Manager Chief Administrative Officers
Service Manager Housing/Homelessness Directors

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to you regarding next steps for the implementation of By-Name Lists and enumeration by Service Managers in 2021.

In March 2020, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) communicated to Service Managers and sector organizations its intention to introduce By-Name Lists across Ontario in 2021. A By-Name List is an ongoing real-time list of people experiencing homelessness in a community. A By-Name List can be used to connect people to a range of housing options and supports. MMAH will require Service Managers to begin developing a By-Name List in April 2021.

Due to gaps and limitations in the 2018 enumeration data, MMAH paused the requirement for Service Managers to conduct local homeless enumeration for 2020 to review the Province’s enumeration requirements. To provide greater consistency in the data collected, MMAH will require Service Managers to enumerate in 2021, using a Point-in-Time Count method.

A Point-in-Time Count captures numbers and basic demographics of people experiencing homelessness at a single point in time. Conducting a Point-in-Time Count also provides an opportunity to connect with people experiencing homelessness in the community to ask if they would like to be included on the By-Name List to receive help from Service Managers to find housing and supports.

MMAH will be engaging with Service Managers in the coming weeks to obtain input and feedback on the proposed approach and requirements for By-Name Lists and Point-in-Time Counts.

MMAH will be updating requirements for Service Managers on By-Name Lists and Point-in-Time Counts with an updated Minister’s Directive and revised guidelines. MMAH will be seeking to maximize alignment with federal Point-in-Time Count requirements for Ontario communities funded under the federal government’s Reaching Home program, while recognizing provincial priorities.

I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Service Managers on improving housing outcomes for vulnerable populations across Ontario.


Joshua Paul
Assistant Deputy Minister
Housing Division