Performance Management in a Housing First Context: A Guide for Community Entities

Performance Management in a Housing First Context: A Guide for Community Entities

In its renewal of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), the Government of Canada has prioritized Housing First as a key strategy to reduce homelessness. A Housing First approach focuses on moving people who are experiencing chronic or episodic homelessness as rapidly as possible from the street or emergency shelters into permanent housing with supports to maintain housing stability.

This Guide to performance management was developed specifically for Community Entity (CE) organizations to help manage HPS funding, as performance management is essential to understand the effectiveness of interventions funded under HPS, as well as a community’s overall progress towards reducing homelessness. It is important that communities develop effective performance management processes to link their efforts to national-level goals and benchmarks.

Performance management:

  • Articulates what the homeless-serving system, as a whole, is trying to achieve;
  • Illustrates whether progress is being made towards preventing and reducing homelessness in a particular community;
  • Keeps programs accountable to funders;
  • Quantifies achievements towards the goals of the Community Plan and HPS targets;
  • Uses information gathered for continuous improvement;
  • Aligns program-level results to client outcomes at the individual and system-levels; and
  • Informs the next round of strategy review and investment planning.
Additional Resources

System Planning Resources

Housing First

System Planning

  • System Planning Framework (CHF)
    This document produced by the Calgary Homeless Foundation outlines the system of care in place in Calgary. It offers a practical application of system planning from the CE perspective.

Program Matching

Acuity Assessment

  • Calgary Acuity Scale (CHF)
    This link provides information to the Calgary Acuity Scale tailored for youth, families, and singles- used across homeless programs to determine level of need.
  • Denver Acuity Scale
    This link provides an outline of the Denver Acuity Scale (see Appendix A of the document).
  • Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT)
    This link outlines the tenets of the Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT), another acuity assessment tool.
  • Visual Acuity Tool (VAT)

Coordinated Intake

Integrated Information Systems

Performance Management Resources


  • Rapid Rehousing Monthly Report (MHCHS)
    Rapid Rehousing Data Spreadsheet (MHCHS)
    These documents provide reporting examples from Medicine Hat Community Housing Society. Information submitted is corroborated with data, direct observation, or review of case files from the CE. For example, the Rapid Rehousing Data Spreadsheet is cross-referenced with data in the integrated information management system. If there are inconsistencies, it is caught immediately by staff, and then assistance provided to the teams to correct the information.
    The programs also need to submit written monthly report. The MHCHS Rapid Rehousing Monthly Report contains information that is cross-referenced with financial statements. For example, if there are high rehousing costs in the financials, and no client was rehoused that month based on the written report and spreadsheets, an explanation is requested or their detailed General Ledger.


  • Program Dashboard (CHF)
    This example of a program dashboard shows how the Calgary Homeless Foundation uses HMIS to assess performance on a quarterly basis.

Data Collection Forms

HPS Indicators

Quality Assurance Resources

Service Standards & Program Policies


Client Engagement

  • Hamilton Transition to Home Consumer Advisory Group Terms of Reference (CH)
    The City of Hamilton’s Transition to Home, run by Wesley Urban Ministries, has a Consumer Advisory Group in place. This document presents their Terms of Reference. The Group comprises mainly persons with lived experience as an internal advisory and planning committee. The language within the TOR is intentionally kept straight forward and direct. The committee has been in place since the program began and attached are their Terms of Reference.
  • Client Survey (CHF)
    The CHF Client Survey is provided across funded programs by the CE and results are analysed centrally to assess client perception of service quality and impact.
  • Client Interviews - Agency Review (CO)
    This example of client interviews from the City of Ottawa is incorporated in regular monitoring processes.

Risk Management




CE Practice Changes

  • HPS Administrative Review (CH)
    In 2013, a review was completed of the City of Hamilton’s internal administrative practices. This document summarizes the main recommendations for changes the
    Division will be making to its HPS administrative processes. The main changes are centered around four (4) main themes: Alignment of Administrative Practices,
    Coordination of Monitoring Practices, Evolution of Payments processes and the Modernization of Program Records. These changes are being implemented in phases, with the aim to be fully implemented by April 2016.
  • HPS Administrative Implementation (CH)
    This is an early version of the work planning document that outlines the steps being taken to implement the first series of administrative recommendations (listed above) planned to be implemented early in 2014.

Funding Allocation Resources

Request for Proposals/ Funding Competitions


ORGANIZATION: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness/Homeless Hub