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November 4, 2008
Streets to Homes innovation honoured by national housing agency
The City of Toronto’s Streets to Homes program has been named by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as one of Canada’s best practices in Affordable Housing. Katherine Chislett, Director of Housing and Homelessness Supports with the City’s Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Division, accepted the 2008 Housing Award for Best Practices in Affordable Housing on behalf of the Toronto government at a ceremony in Ottawa on November 3, 2008.

This is one of 16 awards bestowed every two years by the national housing agency to honour the people and organizations creating affordable housing solutions across the country. In 2006, the City of Toronto also received an award for Fort York Residence, a transition to work and housing facility that assists homeless men to move from shelter to transitional housing, then to permanent housing in the community.

“We’re honoured that CMHC would recognize Streets to Homes with a housing award for its success in assisting vulnerable people to move into permanent housing directly from the street, and provide the follow up supports they need to be able to remain in their homes,” said Mayor David Miller.

“We have helped more than 2,100 people move directly into permanent housing through Streets to Homes since its start in 2005,” said Phil Brown, General Manager of Shelter, Support and Housing Administration. “Almost 90 per cent remain in their homes and most report that their lives have improved on just about every quality of life indicator, including less use of alcohol and other drugs. We know that housing is good medicine.”

Streets to Homes is operated directly by City staff who work in partnership with 36 community not-for-profit agencies that provide street outreach, housing support, and related services.

Last May, Toronto City Council approved enhancements to Streets to Homes so that the services are now being provided to all those who are street-involved, whether they are sleeping on the streets, staying in shelters at night but spending large amounts of their day on the street, or are in housing and panhandling legally.

“This program is about getting results with the resources at hand,” said Iain de Jong, Manager of Streets to Homes. “We are pleased that as part of the CMHC process, we will be further sharing our program with other communities in Canada. We believe it is a model that can be replicated in other parts of Canada and the world.”

For information about the CMHC Housing Awards and details about the 15 other winners from across Canada, visit

For more information about Streets to Homes, visit

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Patricia Anderson, City of Toronto Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, 416-397-4328,



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