Evaluation of Shelter Allowance as it Relates to On-Reserve Housing - Follow-up Report Status Update as of March 31, 2014

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Evaluation, Performance Measurement and Review Committee - As of March 31, 2014

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: Request to Close (Completed)

Update/rationale:
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.
  • 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 31/03/2014


In support of the Social Programs - National Manual, program compliance review activitieshave strengthened regional program management practices to achieve consistency in the management of the ShelterAllowance.

The Social Programs - National Manual is in the final stages of the approval process and will be available online by Q1 FY 2014-15. An approved copy of the manual can be provided to recipients prior to the online release.

The National Manual communications plan is drafted and will be finalized in Q1 2014.

AES: Closed – Fully Implemented

SPPB has developed and is in the process of distributing a national manual designed to address this recommendation.
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