What is the Homelessness Partnering Strategy

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to communities across Canada.

The HPS provides structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness achieve self-sufficiency and full participation in society. The HPS seeks to address homelessness by working in partnership with the provinces and territories, other federal departments, as well as with communities and the private and not-for-profit sectors.

Addressing homelessness is a challenge in all regions of Canada. The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a community-based program that relies on communities to determine their own needs and to develop appropriate projects. The HPS supports 61 designated communities and some small, rural, northern and Aboriginal communities to develop local solutions to homelessness.

The HPS partners with provinces and territories, communities, and the private and voluntary sectors to strengthen capacity and to ensure sustainability. It carries out research to foster a better understanding of homelessness, and it collects and promotes best practices to help design the most effective responses.

The HPS recognizes that stable housing is a basic requirement for improving health, parenting, education, and employment. The HPS supports community initiatives that use a housing-first approach, and it emphasizes transitional and supportive housing to help individuals and families move to greater autonomy and self-sufficiency.

The HPS took effect on April 1, 2007, with annual funding of $134.8 million for two years, and replaced the National Homelessness Initiative, which ran from 1999 to 2007.

In September 2008, the government committed more than $1.9 billion to housing and homelessness over five years. This included a two-year renewal of the HPS and a commitment to maintain annual funding for housing and homelessness until March 2014. As part of this commitment, the Government of Canada has renewed the HPS at the current funding level of $134.8 million per year, from April 2011 to March 2014. For more information about the enhanced program, see the backgrounder.

By stabilizing the lives of homeless and at-risk individuals, the HPS contributes to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada’s vision of building a stronger and more competitive Canada, supporting Canadians in making choices that help them live productive and rewarding lives and improving Canadians’ quality of life.

For more information on the HPS or on how to apply for funding, please contact SHIP.