2022 Reports 5 to 8 of the Auditor General of Canada to the Parliament of Canada—The federal government does not know if it is reducing chronic homelessness
2022 Reports 5 to 8 of the Auditor General of Canada to the Parliament of CanadaThe federal government does not know if it is reducing chronic homelessness
Ottawa, 15 November 2022—A report from Auditor General Karen Hogan tabled today in the House of Commons found that although 5 years have gone by since the launch of the federal government’s National Housing Strategy, there is still no organization in the federal government taking the lead on Canada’s target to prevent and reduce chronic homelessness by half by 2028. In addition, the organizations did not know whether their efforts so far had improved housing outcomes for people experiencing homelessness and chronic homelessness.
“One of my biggest concerns is the lack of federal accountability for achieving Canada’s target to reduce chronic homelessness by half by 2028,” said Ms. Hogan
As the lead for the Reaching Home program, Infrastructure Canada spent about $1.36 billion between 2019 and 2021 on initiatives to prevent and reduce homelessness. This is about 40% of the total funding committed to the program over 9 years. However, the audit found that the department did not know whether the rates of homelessness and chronic homelessness have increased or decreased since 2019.
As the lead for the National Housing Strategy, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation spent about $4.5 billion since 2018, but it did not know who was benefiting from its initiatives. The corporation had not assessed if rental housing units were going to priority vulnerable groups, including people experiencing homelessness. The audit found that some rental housing units created under the strategy that the corporation deemed to be affordable were often beyond the means of many low‑income households and vulnerable groups prioritized by the strategy.
“Infrastructure Canada and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation should be coordinating their efforts to deliver on the National Housing Strategy’s objectives and get a roof over the heads of individuals and families,” said Ms. Hogan.
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The 2022 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada, Report 5—Chronic Homelessness is available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada website.
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