The Housing and Homelessness Supports and Initiatives (HHSI) unit funds, creates, delivers and manages a wide range of programs that provide support and services to help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. HHSI researches needs, develops policies, pilots innovations, and recommends strategic direction to meet Toronto City Council's goal of ending homelessness. Directly and through some 90 community partners, HHSI:
Helps people find and keep housing through housing help centres and projects such as the the Rent Bank which helps people avoid evictions by providing modest short-term loans.
Helps people who are absolutely homeless, living in shelters, and those who are marginally housed by funding homeless drop-in programs that connect people with the services and supports they need.
Provides street outreach services to help people living on the streets find and keep permanent housing along with follow-up supports to help them stay housed.
Helps tenants understand their rights and obligations so they can maintain their tenancies. Programs such as the Tenant Hotline and the Tenant Defence Fund provide information and modest grants to fund the establishment of tenant associations to help them participate in legal processes that affect their rents.
Provides forums for landlords to get information from and exchange views with tenants as well as support for innovative projects like Landlord Connect
which posts affordable rental vacancies online for housing workers.
Pilots innovative programs to reach those who are vulnerable to homelessness: people with substance abuse or mental health issues, troubled youth, Aboriginals, refugees and those recently released from correctional facilities.