|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:
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
|Status: Request to Close (Completed)
As of 30/06/2013
Social Policy and Programs Branch, through a Working Group (involving Community Infrastructure Branch, Regional Operations, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) has conducted a review of the Income Assistance Program’s shelter allowance component. The review determined that there are considerable inconsistencies in practices across regions and fundamental challenges with comparability between on-reserve and off-reserve regimes (e.g. ownership and maintenance constructs).
The Branch is adopting an incremental approach, focusing on potential links with the Income Assistance reform initiative, and promoting short-term pilots that may yield better alignment of regional and on/off-reserve regimes. The Assembly of First Nations is also being engaged through the annual workplan.
A more comprehensive action plan will need to await a subsequent phase of the Income Assistance reform and the availability of additional resources.
AES: Closed – Fully Implemented
ESDPP has put in place the structures to address issues of scope and consistency, particularly through aligning work with Income Assistance Reform, and pilots to promote better alignment across regions.
|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 30/09/2013
Four pilot projects have been funded and will be completed this fiscal year. The working group will be monitoring their progress for best practices. The Assembly of First Nations, as part of their workplan, is also identifying best practices across the country.
The National Social Program Manual which is currently being drafted will include information on how shelter allowance is to be applied in each region.
As SPPB currently has a program manual being drafted, it will be important to follow up on the roll out and communication of this manual. Continued monitoring required.