Ending Homelessness in Canada: A Study of 10-Year Plans in 4 Canadian Cities

Executive Summary:

In 2012, with funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the REACH3 network initiated a two-year study led by Dr. Stephen Hwang of the Centre for Urban Health Solutions (C-UHS) at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. The Research Alliance includes some of Canada’s leading academic researchers and community organizations with expertise on homelessness.

In light of recent policy shifts at federal and provincial levels of government, the study sought to assess the degree to which 10-year housing and homelessness plans are enabling cities to make progress towards the goal of ending homelessness and to identify the barriers and facilitators to plan success. The qualitative study focused on the development, implementation and outcomes-to-date of 10-Year Plans in four Canadian cities – Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. The cities were selected to enable an examination of key similarities and differences with respect to geography, jurisdiction, population size, and the goals and components of the local plans.

The specific objectives of the study were four-fold: 1) to determine the degree to which the plans are achieving success, both in terms of the implementation of plan policies and programs and vis-à-vis plan goals and targets; 2) to identify factors that serve as barriers and facilitators to plan implementation; 3) to assess the outcomes of the plans to date, including the extent to which cities have been able to increase the supply of affordable housing and achieve reductions in the number of people experiencing homelessness every year; and 4) to develop a conceptual model of the factors that determine plan success, if feasible.

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