Social Services Relief Fund - August 12, 2020

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Office of the Minister

777 Bay Street, 17th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 2J3

Ministère des Affaires municipales et du Logement
Bureau du minister

777, rue Bay, 17e étage
Toronto ON M7A 2J3

August 12, 2020

Les Gamble, Board Chair
Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB
210 Mead Boulevard
Espanola ON P5E 1R9

Dear Les Gamble:

I am writing to provide you with details regarding the $150 million in new provincial funding announced by Premier Ford and myself on July 2, 2020, and the additional $212 million of funding announced on August 12, 2020 as part of the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement for a total of $362 million.

These funds will be made available as part of a second phase of funding under the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF), and increase the government's total SSRF investment for Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators to $510 million.

I would like to acknowledge the Federal government in their role in this historic agreement. As Premier Ford has indicated, "by working together, we have united the country in the face of the immense challenges brought on by COVID-19 and secured a historic deal with the federal government to ensure a strong recovery for Ontario and for Canada".

Protecting the health and well-being of all Ontarians continues to be our government's number one priority. We appreciate your efforts to assist vulnerable people in your communities throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and understand that additional assistance is needed to meet ongoing needs, including for those struggling to pay rent. Long-term housing solutions is also a priority under SSRF Phase 2, and we encourage investments in this area to allow for greater resiliency for future pandemic waves and emergencies.

To ensure SSRF Phase 2 funding is targeted to where it is needed most, the Ministry will hold back a portion of the total SSRF Phase 2 funding from funding allocations and will determine how to allocate it in the coming months based on public health needs.

I am pleased to inform you that under SSRF Phase 2 Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB will be eligible to receive an initial planning allocation of $897,838 in 2020-21.

In addition, and in light of the increasing pressures being experienced by Service Managers, you will receive the remainder of your initial SSRF funding, upon the Ministry receiving a full copy of this letter with the sign-back section completed and signed.

Below are additional details about the SSRF Phase 2 funding. 

Business Case Process

Prior to receiving SSRF Phase 2 funds, you will be required to submit a business case to the Ministry. The business case process will provide an opportunity to outline how your initial planning allocation will be used, and will assist the Ministry in ensuring that funds are being directed to communities most in need.

Business cases will be reviewed by an inter-ministerial working group, which will make recommendations on funding decisions. Your initial planning allocation could be subject to change based on COVID-19 needs and emerging public health emergencies across the province, which may result in the re-allocation of funds between service areas. Following the review process, you will be notified of your approved SSRF Phase 2 funding allocation.

The business case template is available through the Transfer Payment Ontario (TPON) system, and must be completed and submitted to the Ministry via TPON by September 11, 2020.

Program Details

Similar to the initial SSRF funding provided to you in April 2020, SSRF Phase 2 funding will flow through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI). For funding provided under SSRF Phase 2, amendments to the CHPI Program Guidelines are set out in the attached Addendum B (SSRF Phase 2 Program Guidelines).

Please note that this funding is in addition to your base 2020-21 CHPI allocation, which the Ministry previously communicated to you on April 17, 2019, and the initial SSRF funding. There will be no change to the program administration or payment process for payments under CHPI.

SSRF Phase 2 will include an operating component and two new capital components. Please refer to the SSRF Phase 2 Program Guidelines for details on eligible use of funding and project approval process.

The objectives of the SSRF Phase 2 funding are to:

  1. Mitigate ongoing risk for vulnerable people, especially in congregate settings;
  2. Encourage long-term housing-based solutions to homelessness post-COVID-19; and
  3. Enhance rent assistance provided to households in rent arrears due to COVID-19.

In recognition of the costs you are facing, funding provided under SSRF Phase 2 may be used to offset eligible costs incurred on or after July 2, 2020. The Ministry will require Service Managers to submit an interim report in mid-December on the use of SSRF Phase 2 funds and projected spending.

Approved funding allocations may be subject to re-allocation or adjustment if funds cannot be spent this fiscal year based on the business case and reporting. Details on payment and reporting information can be found in the Program Guidelines for SSRF Phase 2, which are added as Addendum B to the CHPI Guidelines.

This amendment forms part of your Service Manager Service Agreement ("Agreement") and any breach of any of the terms of the Guidelines shall constitute an Event of Default under the Agreement. All other provisions of the Agreement remain in full force and effect.

You are required to sign this letter and return it to the Ministry to confirm your agreement to the terms and conditions of SSRF Phase 2 and to receive the remainder of your initial SSRF funding.

You may submit your signed confirmation via e-mail to:

Jim Adams, Director of the Housing Programs Branch 
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Thank you to those who participated in confidential consultation sessions, which were organized by Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) to inform the design of the Program Guidelines and business case. I look forward to continuing our work together as,we serve the people of Ontario.


Steve Clark, Minister


c. Fern Dominelli, Chief Administrative Officer

The undersigned agrees to the above letter and to comply with the Social Services Relief Fund Phase 2 Program. Guidelines attached as Addendum B, as the same may be amended by the Ministry from time to time. The undersigned further agrees to use funds from the Social Services Relief Fund Phase 2 as set out in the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative Program Guidelines (April 2017), under the Service Manager Service Agreement, including Addendum B to this letter.

The undersigned further agrees to receive the remaining balance of its initial SSRF funding and to use the funding as set out in the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative Program Guidelines (April 2017), under the Service Manager Service Agreement, including the Notice of Amendment set out in my letter to you dated April 1, 2020.

Service Manager: Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB

Name: Fern Dominelli   original signed by CAO
Title: CAO

Date: Aug. 13, 2020

Name: Leslie Gamble  original signed by Chair
Title: Board Chair

Date: Aug. 13, 2020

I/We have authority to bind the organization.

Addendum B - Social Services Relief Fund Phase 2 Program Guidelines