Evaluation of Shelter Allowance as it Relates to On-Reserve Housing - Follow-up Report Status Update as of March 31, 2012

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Evaluation, Performance Measurement and Review Committee - As of March 31, 2012

EDUCATION & SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND PARTNERSHIPS

Evaluation of Shelter Allowance as it Relates to On-Reserve Housing
Approval Date: August 9, 2011
Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected Completion Date Program Response
1. Review the National Shelter Allowance policy, including the objectives and eligibility criteria to:
  • clarify the intended scope and intent of the funding and the degree to which it is expected to contribute to shelter costs. And

  • ensure that it is applied in a consistent manner across regions and reflects the provincial comparability principle.
Social Policy and Programs Branch (SPPD) is in the process of developing a strategy to address the shelter allowance issues as part of the Income Assistance reform process.

SPPB has initiated discussions with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada's (AANDC) Community Infrastructure Branch and regional offices, as well as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to identify issues and provincial comparability. A work plan is being developed targeting Fall 2011 to identify options for the renewal of the policy.

A Working Group (including, AANDC's Community Infrastructure, Regional offices, Income Assistance Program and CMHC is in the process of being established. Its mandate will consist of:
  1. facilitating and defining the scope of the review process of the policy,

  2. engaging First Nation organizations at regional and national level,

  3. exploring and proposing options for the review of the shelter allowance policy within the context of the Income Assistance reform, and

Identifying roles and responsibilities with regard to compliance.
Completion Date
Fall 2011

  • Work plan

Spring 2012

Policy Revisions
Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2012:

Social Policy and Programs Branch has conducted research and analysis of the issues and challenges related to the implementation of the policy in different regions.

Consultations with the regions and other stakeholders were facilitated through a working group consisting of representatives from Departmental Strategic Policy and Research Branch, Community Infrastructure Branch, Legal Services; and Regional Offices; Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Health Canada to develop options for a National Shelter Allowance Policy.

The policy options paper will be shared with Regional Directors General for feedback. Consideration of options is being done in the context of the Income Assistance reform.

Discussions with First Nation organizations at national and regional levels will be initiated to assess possible impacts of the options and determine gaps.

Costing for the options is underway to assess financial implications.

AES: Underway – SPPB is currently undertaking various research and policy projects and research addressing scope, intent, and consistent application of Shelter Allowance.
2. Clarify AANDC's role and responsibilities with regard to monitoring the implementation of Shelter Allowance in First Nation communities. The Working Group will facilitate discussions with SPPB, AANDC's regional offices and Community Infrastructure Branch, CMHC and other stakeholders.
  • SPPB will work with its partners to clarify roles and responsibilities.

As part of the Income Assistance program accountabilities, SPPB will work with its partners to continue strengthening the shelter allowance program management through the application of performance and risk management strategies and compliance activities.
Spring 2012 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2012:

Social Policy and Programs Branch is working with regions, Community Infrastructure Branch, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and other partners to clarify roles and responsibilities as part of the options development process.

Roles and responsibilities will be shared with First Nations and other stakeholders as part of the outcomes following the review.

Social Policy and Programs Branch has developed a performance measurement strategy for the five social programs which includes tools to strengthen shelter allowance program management and accountabilities.

AES: Underway – SPPB is in the process of refining and articulating roles and responsibilities with respect to monitoring and implementation of Shelter Allowance.
3. Clearly communicate the objectives of the Shelter Allowance program, as well as the determination of rates and eligibility criteria, to First Nations and other stakeholders. SPPB is aware that changes to policy need to be clearly communicated to all parties.

SPPB will work with the Working Group, partners and stakeholders to develop a communication strategy to communicate the objectives of the Shelter Allowance program and the recommended policy option with First Nation communities, partners and stakeholders.
Summer 2012 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2012:

Social Policy and Programs Branch is developing a Communication Strategy to share information on the changes to the shelter allowance policy with First Nation communities, partners and stakeholders.

Social Policy and Programs Branch has drafted Media Lines to assist departmental spokespersons respond to media inquiries regarding shelter allowance and is continuously updating them.

AES: Underway - SPPB is in the process of developing communication strategies to better communicate Shelter Allowance objectives and criteria.
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