|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.
As of 31/12/2012
Social Policy and Programs Branch is developing a strategy to implement incremental changes to the shelter allowance component of the Income Assistance (IA) program in order to align more closely with provincial/territorial guidelines.
The proposed strategy takes into consideration specific needs across the regions, the coast implications, specifically in the Prairie regions and the linkages with other housing policies and programs. Estimates of total cost implications were developed as well as costing of the options.
A working group has been established and meets regularly to discuss a proposed strategy to move forward, consisting of AANDC HQ and regional offices, as well as CMHC and Health Canada.
Roles and responsibilities of the various players have been defined.
As a step to move towards provincial alignment, FNs in BC have been engaged and have been offered an opportunity to sign and Interim Agreement while SPPB continues to review the shelter allowance component of the IA Program. Directives for shelter compliance have been developed to support the compliance reviews taking place in 2012-12 and early 2013-14.
Work is continuing to ensure the scope and intent of Shelter Allowance, as well as its consistent application regionally.
|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:
Identifying roles and responsibilities with regard to compliance.
- facilitating and defining the scope of the review process of the policy,
- engaging First Nation organizations at regional and national level,
- exploring and proposing options for the review of the shelter allowance policy within the context of the Income Assistance reform, and
|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.
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.
- SPPB will work with its partners to clarify roles and responsibilities.
||Status: Recommend to Close
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:
AES: Closed – Fully Implemented
- Alignment of the Key Performance Indicators.
- Data Collection from a single point of data entry.
- Data Collection Instrument (DCI) management.
- Risk-based reporting.
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.
As of 31/12/2012
Since the Shelter Allowance component of the IA program is under review the implementation plan has not been approved yet, the Communication Strategy and media lines are still to be completed and shared.