Social Services Relief Fund Phase 3 Allocation - March 10, 2021

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Office of the Minister

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

March 10, 2021

Bruce Killah
Board Chair, Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB
210 Mead Boulevard
Espanola ON P5E 1R9

Dear Bruce Killah:

I am pleased to be writing to you today with important details regarding additional provincial funding being offered to you through the third phase of Ontario’s Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF). To receive this funding, the Ministry requires a completed Investment Plan and your sign back to the terms and conditions of the funding by March 22, 2021.

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

We have also invested $510 million to support Ontario’s Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators through two iterations of the province’s SSRF, as well as other provincial investments to support those suffering from mental health and addictions issues and 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, 2021. 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 begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. For that reason, our government has announced an additional investment of $255 million in one-time operating funding to enable a third phase of the SSRF, bringing the government’s total SSRF investment to $765 million.

I am pleased to confirm that the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB will receive an additional $1,006,274 in provincial funding through a third phase of Ontario’s SSRF.

Program Details – Social Services Relief Fund Phase 3

To mitigate the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the homelessness sector, the Ministry has announced funding for a third phase of Ontario’s SSRF. This funding supports operating expenses only. Funding is to be used by Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators to off-set their eligible operating expenses (in accordance with the Social Services Relief Fund Phase 3 Program Guidelines) beginning March 1, 2021 and incurred up to December 31, 2021.

Additional funding to Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators will help allow staff to:

  • Maintain, monitor and improve infection prevention and control measures while there is community transmission and risk of transmission in congregate care settings such as emergency shelters; and
  • Ensure stability in the homelessness sector by continuing current services and supports that address the negative impact of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable households and more generally on Ontario’s economic recovery (e.g., impact of sustained reductions in or loss of income on housing stability and the need for rent supplements or support with rent arrears to avoid eviction).

Consistent with SSRF Phase 2, Service Managers are required to consider the use of operating funding for rental assistance (e.g., “rent banks”) to support renter households who may be in rental arrears and at a high risk of becoming homeless.

Of the additional funding, Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators may use up to three per cent of their allocation for program administration in line with the approach under the SSRF Phase 2.

Note that unlike the SSRF Phase 2, capital projects are not eligible for funding under the SSRF Phase 3. The funding is only for eligible operating expenses incurred during the funding period. Consistent with SSRF Phase 2, the Ministry will require monthly updates on expenditures under SSRF Phase 3.

This amendment forms part of your Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) Service Manager Service Agreement effective January 1, 2013 with Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario as represented by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (“Service Agreement”) and any breach of any of the terms of the amendment shall constitute an Event of Default under the Service Agreement. All other provisions, including Section 17 – Audits and Reviews, of the Service Agreement remain in full force and effect.

Reporting Requirements

Reporting requirements for this phase of the SSRF will be consistent with the current high-level CHPI reporting. However, these requirements will be augmented with monthly reporting to the Ministry. As well, Service Managers will be required to provide specific examples on the use of SSRF Phase 3 funding from time-to-time to demonstrate effectiveness of the investment.

To receive these additional SSRF Phase 3 funds, you are required to complete and submit the sign-back section of this letter and the enclosed Investment Plan, outlining the proposed uses of funding by each eligible spending category and projected quarterly funding needs in your service area and return it to the Ministry by March 22, 2021.

Service Managers are encouraged to engage with their local Public Health Unit throughout the delivery of the SSRF Phase 3, to ensure funds are being targeted where they are needed most.

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

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

If the signed-back letter and Investment Plan are not received by March 22, 2021, the Ministry will not be able to commit your allocation under the SSRF Phase 3 and will need to consider reallocating your portion of SSRF Phase 3 funding to other areas of the province. Please note that as this timeline cannot be amended, Service Managers are strongly encouraged to consider the use of emergency council sessions or other strategies to ensure they can complete and submit the required sign-back letter and Investment Plan by March 22, 2021.

Upon receipt of the sign-back and Investment Plan, the Ministry will confirm and communicate its approval of the Investment Plan, and will proceed to initiate your first payment based on your cash flow requirements outlined in the Investment Plan.

On a separate matter, at the onset of COVID-19, Ontario directed Service Managers to put in place outbreak-management plans to prepare for increases in COVID-19 cases in shelter spaces. With new COVID-19 variants of concern now in Ontario, there is an increased risk of spread to vulnerable people.

As a result, the Ministry recently directed Service Managers to add new requirements to their outbreak management plans and to sign and return updated Infection, Prevention and Control (IPAC) attestations. As communicated by the Ministry, these attestations must be signed and submitted to the Ministry by March 19, 2021.

As a reminder, for all provincial housing programs that provide operating 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


The undersigned agrees to the terms of the above letter and to comply with the Social Services Relief Fund Phase 3 Program Guidelines.

Service Manager:







I/We have authority to bind the organization.