Order in Council

O.C. 765/2016

Whereas section 5 of the Housing Services Act, 2011 provides that for the purpose of guiding service managers in the preparation of their housing and homelessness plans, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing may, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, issue policy statements on matters relating to housing or homelessness that are of provincial interest under section 4 of the Housing Services Act, 2011;

And whereas the Minister issued the Ontario Housing Policy Statement which was approved by Order-in-Council number O.C. 1243/2011 on June 22, 2011;

And whereas the Minister proposes to revoke the existing Ontario Housing Policy Statement and issue the attached Policy Statement: Service Manager Housing and Homelessness Plans;

Therefore, the revocation of the existing Ontario Housing Policy Statement and its replacement with the attached Policy Statement: Service Manager Housing and Homelessness Plans is hereby approved, to take effect on July 1, 2016.

Ted McMeekin

Chair of Cabinet

Mario Sergio

Chair of Cabinet

Approved and Ordered May 18, 2016
Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Lieutenant Governor

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Policy Statement: Service Manager Housing and Homelessness Plans


The Policy Statement provides guidance and direction to Service Managers to support the development of local housing and homelessness plans.

In 2010, the province launched the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy to make progress towards a housing and homelessness prevention system that better meets the housing needs of Ontarians, in partnership with Service Managers and municipalities. In 2016, the province updated this strategy to continue this transformation with a focus on strengthening people-centred housing programs and improving service coordination.

Service Manager housing and homelessness plans provide a framework for integrated local planning to address housing affordability, coordination of homelessness and related support services and homelessness prevention. The plans can also be an important tool to support local poverty reduction. Strong partnerships and collaboration between the province, Service Managers, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, housing providers and other stakeholders are essential to the successful implementation of local housing and homelessness plans. Leadership and a long-term funding commitment from the federal government is also vital.

Legislative Authority

The Housing Services Act, 2011 (“the Act”) requires Service Managers to prepare local housing and homelessness plans that address matters of provincial interest and that are consistent with policy statements issued under the Act.

Section 4 of the Act states that “it is a matter of provincial interest that there be a system of housing and homelessness that:

  1. is focussed on achieving positive outcomes for individuals and families;
  2. addresses the housing needs of individuals and families in order to help address other challenges they face;
  3. has a role for non-profit corporations and non-profit housing cooperatives;
  4. has a role for the private market in meeting housing needs;
  5. provides for partnerships among governments and others in the community;
  6. treats individuals and families with respect and dignity;
  7. is co-ordinated with other community services;
  8. is relevant to local circumstances;
  9. allows for a range of housing options to meet a broad range of needs;
  10. ensures appropriate accountability for public funding;
  11. supports economic prosperity; and
  12. is delivered in a manner that promotes environmental sustainability and energy conservation.”

It is also a matter of provincial interest that the Service Manager housing and homelessness plans be consistent with other plans that may be prescribed under the Act.


The Policy Statement is based on the vision that every person in Ontario has an affordable, suitable and adequate home to provide the foundation to secure employment, raise a family, and build strong communities. Working to achieve this vision will help reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness and increase the number of people experiencing housing stability. When people have access to stable, adequate and affordable housing it enables them to experience other positive outcomes in health, education, and employment.

In support of this vision, Ontario is working towards a long-term goal of ending homelessness, including a specific goal of ending chronic homelessness within ten years (2025-26). Ending homelessness is a key component of poverty reduction. Access to adequate, suitable and affordable housing is an essential part of the foundation to move people out of poverty.

The vision and long-term goal of ending homelessness supports Ontario’s broad objective of fostering social inclusion and enabling community and economic participation for all Ontarians.

Policy Direction



  • footnote[1] Back to paragraph The term Service Manager includes Municipal Service Managers that may be regional governments, counties or separated cities, and District Social Services Administration Boards, which are boards established in each of the 10 districts in Northern Ontario.
  • footnote[2] Back to paragraph Housing First is a term used to describe approaches that assist people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, to obtain and maintain permanent, affordable housing linked to flexible, appropriate support services.
  • footnote[3] Back to paragraph Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) are not-for-profit crown agencies funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to plan, fund and integrate local health care services delivered by hospitals, long-term care homes, and a variety of other community agencies.
  • footnote[4] Back to paragraph In some areas land use planning decisions are made by planning boards established under the Planning Act.