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Social Services Relief Fund Phase 5 - Issue Report

Report To:  Program Planning Committee 

From: Lori Clark, Director of Integrated Social Services (A)

Date: April 27, 2022

Re: Social Services Relief Fund Phase 5 – Issue Report


To provide the Board with an update on the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) Phase 5 Business Case that was announced by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) on April 7, 2022.


In 2020, the MMAH announced $362 million in new funding under a second phase of the SSRF to help protect vulnerable people from COVID-19, bringing the government’s total SSRF investment to $510 million. This funding has helped Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators respond quickly, adapt services, and help address housing and economic impacts from COVID-19 in their communities. 

SSRF Phase 1 which was announced on April 1, 2020, was intended to support a range of vulnerable populations, including people living in community housing, supportive housing, people with low incomes, social assistance recipients, and others who require social services support as well as those experiencing homelessness.

SSRF Phase 2 which announced on August 10, 2020, was built on this support, and expanded the eligible uses of funding, with a focus on resiliency to future waves of COVID-19. It had the following objectives:

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

SSRF Phase 3 which was announced on March 10, 2021, enabled Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators to continue to fund the vital supports and services that were established to address the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable Ontarians from March 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021. Staff prepared an issue report outlining SSRF Phase 3 in April 2021.

SSRF Phase 4 was announced in August 2021.  Staff prepared an issue report outlining SSRF Phase 4 in September 2021.

SSRF Phase 5 was announced in April 2022, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB will receive $500,000 in SSRF Phase 5 funding.

Staff are required to submit an SSRF Phase 5 Investment Plan before April 30, 2022.

Investment Plan

The investment plan proposes to use the SSFR Phase 5 capital funding of $500,000 to support the new build in Little Current to create long-term affordable housing. 

Under the SSRF Phase 5 envelope, capital projects are eligible for funding similar to SSRF Phase 4 funding.

There is a high need for senior’s housing that is currently being under supported. We are short in meeting our targets as well as being short in adhering to our 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan recommendations. We are currently in the process of undertaking a new senior’s housing building in Little Current to assist in alleviating the high demand in the area and to lessen the affordable housing deficit on Manitoulin Island. In discussions with the project architect and project manager it has come to our attention that the construction industry has come under increased pressure due to the pandemic which has resulted in significant price escalation for building materials. These escalations have resulted in a significant increase in the cost per sq/ft for the building. This has resulted in a significant cost increase to undertake this project and has strained the DSB’s financial resources in moving forward with the project. With the $500,000 of SSRF Phase 5 Capital Funds, our annual municipal deficit would go from $118,353 to $78,801.


Staff are recommending the Board approve the SSRF Phase 5 Investment Plan totaling $500,000 to be submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.