Reviewing the Effectiveness of Rent Supplement Programs Across Canada

We partnered with the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society (ACEH) to conduct a review of all supplement programs across Canada. Our goal was to compare available programs with the ACEH’s Culturally Aligned Integrated Support model (CAIS).

Client

Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society

Roles

Comparative Analysis
Program Review

Deliverables

Supplement program assessment

About the Project

ACEH, an indigenous-led and -focused organization based in British Columbia, is committed to addressing homelessness among First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples by identifying the systemic and structural barriers that contribute to Indigenous homelessness. ACEH administers the CAIS, a three-year initiative under the Supported Rent Supplement Program (SRSP). CAIS is designed to provide support to Indigenous individuals experiencing homelessness or facing eviction from rental housing units through monthly rent supplements. 

Our collaboration with ACEH involved conducting a comprehensive review of Rent Supplement programs across Canada, with a specific focus on those tailored to Indigenous housing needs. The objective was to assess the benefits, challenges, and overall effectiveness of these programs in supporting housing affordability.

What We Did

Our assessment identified rent supplement programs throughout Canada, with an emphasis on British Columbia. We evaluated various aspects of program operations, such as funding mechanisms, eligibility criteria, and application processes. We outlined these programs’ ability to promote housing affordability nationwide, while also identifying their benefits and challenges.

Afterwards, we conducted a comparative analysis between the CAIS program and the rent supplement programs we identified. This allowed us to identify the distinct forms of support offered by different programs.

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Results

Rent supplement programs across provinces and territories vary in their operational frameworks, including the number of services they provide, eligibility criteria, average supplement amounts, and target demographics. Information related to support components for Indigenous-focused is limited, with only two programs found in British Columbia. 

While these programs offer crucial financial and housing stability to individuals experiencing homelessness, they also contribute to enhancing the quality of life and fostering positive tenant-landlord relationships by, for example, ensuring timely rent payments. However, some rent supplements fall short of fully addressing financial difficulties, while others may struggle from the limited availability of these programs and difficulties enrolling in them. It is also important to acknowledge that rent supplements alone cannot fully resolve the affordable housing crisis.

Optimal effectiveness of rent supplement programs can be achieved when they are complemented by comprehensive support services, such as housing assistance and case management, delivered in a culturally sensitive manner. This integrated approach ensures that individuals receive the necessary support tailored to their specific needs.

 

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