Evaluation of Shelter Allowance as it Relates to On-Reserve Housing - Follow-up Report Status Update as of September 30, 2012

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Evaluation, Performance Measurement and Review Committee - As of September 30, 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 30/09/2012

Social Policy and Programs Branch is exploring alternative approaches to the implementation of shelter allowance component of the Income Assistance (IA) program.

As part of the shelter allowance review process, British Columbia region and headquarters have engaged First Nation organizations to identify specific issues and interim solutions.

Social Policy and Programs Branch continues working with Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba regions to establish approaches to move closer to alignment with provincial eligibility criteria, to help identify the challenges in doing so, and to facilitate the transition over time.

Costing for the options and estimates of total cost implications are developed.

Development of an implementation plan is underway to explore viable incremental approaches to bring shelter allowance criteria into closer alignment with provincial eligibility criteria over time. The changes will be managed within the existing resources.

SPPB will present the options and proposed implementation plan to Senior Management for approval in March 2013.

AES: Underway (In progress)

SPPD's review process is ongoing with respect to addressing clarity and alignment with provincial eligibility criteria.
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: Recommend to Close

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/09/2012

Social Policy Programs Branch has clarified the roles and responsibilities with regions, Community Infrastructure Branch, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Health Canada and other partners.

These roles and responsibilities will be shared with First nations and other stakeholders.

AANDC has developed an evergreen multi-step plan (see above) for the IA program that includes:
  • Alignment of the Key Performance Indicators.
  • Data Collection from a single point of data entry.
  • Data Collection Instrument (DCI) management
  • Risk-based reporting.
AES: Closed – Fully Implemented

Structures and processes are in place to address this recommendation.
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 30/09/2012

Social Policy Programs Branch has developed a draft Communication Strategy which will be further refined and shared with regions once the options and implementation plan are approved.

Social Policy and Programs Branch has drafted media lines to assist departmental spokespersons to respond to media inquiries regarding AANDC's position on calls to change the shelter allowance component of the IA program.

AANDC will support First Nation communities with communication materials and other relevant tools at the local level, as appropriate, to facilitate transition to a revised approach to shelter allowance once an implementation plan is approved and is underway.

AES: Underway (in progress)

SPPD's initiatives with respect to addressing clarity in the objectives, rates and eligibility criteria for Shelter Allowance are underway.
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