Social Services Relief Fund - Phase 2: Service Manager Business Case Approval - October 26, 2020

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Office of the Minister

777 Bay Street, 17th Floor Toronto ON M7A 2J3 
Tel.: 416 585-7000

Ministère des Affaires municipales et du Logement
Bureau du ministre

777, rue Bay, 17e étage Toronto ON M7A 2J3 
Tél. : 416 585-7000

October 26, 2020

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

Dear Les Gamble:

Re: Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) – Phase 2

Service Manager Business Case Approval – with follow up direction

As you know, this summer, my ministry announced $362 million in new provincial and federal funding under a second phase of the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) to help protect vulnerable people from COVID-19. The Social Services Relief Fund 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. The additional investment of SSRF Phase Two can help Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators continue to protect homeless shelter staff and residents, expand rent support programming and create longer-term housing solutions.

This brings the government’s total Social Services Relief Fund investment provided to Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators to $510 million.

This is part of our commitment of up to $4 billion for municipalities across the province under the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement. This funding will help municipalities protect the health and well-being of the people of Ontario while delivering critical public services, such as public transit and shelters, as the province continues down the path of renewal, growth and economic recovery.

Prior to receiving SSRF Phase 2 funds, you were asked to submit a business case to the Ministry. The business case process provided an opportunity for you to outline how your initial planning allocation would be used and assisted the Ministry in ensuring that funds were being directed to the communities most in need. The business cases were reviewed by the Ministry, as well as an inter-ministerial working group, which made recommendations on funding decisions.

The Ministry has now completed its review of your business case, and I am pleased to confirm that we have approved your plan with follow up direction in accordance with a total planning allocation of $897,838 for the fiscal year 2020-21. Ministry staff will be in contact with you in the coming days to discuss feedback on your business case.

I want to acknowledge that, in addition to the capital and operating plans being approved with this letter, many Service Managers have submitted as part of their business cases additional capital proposals (i.e., additional proposals where submitted in response to Question 12 in the business cases). Where applicable, the Province encourages Service Managers to consider submitting these additional capital proposals under the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative to maximize the potential benefits to Ontario’s housing as well as the good work done by Service Managers as part of this process.

As communicated to you in August 2020, to ensure SSRF Phase 2 funding is targeted to where it is needed most, the Ministry has held back a portion of the total SSRF Phase 2 funding from the initial planning allocations. Decisions on how to allocate this hold back will be determined over the coming weeks and months based on emerging public health needs and progress to date as indicated through required program reporting.

This will allow us to target these remaining investments where they are most required, as the public health situation continues to evolve. Service Managers will be notified when decisions are made to allocate this remaining funding.

SSRF Phase 2 Funding and Reporting

Now that your business case has been approved, we will provide an initial payment of up to 75 per cent of operating funding based on the projections made in your approved business case. This payment will be processed shortly.

Funding for capital projects will be dispersed based on project submissions and the funding schedule outlined in the Program Guidelines. For each capital project, you must complete and submit a Project Information Form through the Transfer Payment Ontario (TPON) system for Ministry approval.

Please note that you are required to submit an interim report by December 15, 2020 on your use of SSRF Phase 2 funds and projected spending. A subsequent operating payment will be made following the submission and approval of this report and attestation.

As part of the quarterly reporting requirements, you will also be required to report actual expenditures for the previous financial quarter and revised projections for subsequent quarters by the relevant spending category by January 31, 2021. For your year-end reports, you will also be required to report on data collected on specific performance indicators.

Please note that all SSRF Phase 2 reports must be submitted through the TPON system, in accordance with the program guidelines.

Thank you again for your tireless work supporting Ontario’s most vulnerable residents during this challenging time. I appreciate your continued commitment to ensuring that the province’s significant investments through SSRF are directed to where they are needed most, and I look forward to continuing our work together as we serve the people of Ontario.


Steve Clark, Minister

c. Fern Dominelli, Chief Administrative Officer