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Ontario Building More Supportive Housing in Thunder Bay

Provincial investment will support individuals experiencing homelessness in the community

April 26th, 2024

The Ontario government is providing a total of $9,238,000 under the Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) to help create a combined 52 supportive housing units in Thunder Bay. Funding will support the most vulnerable individuals, such as those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.

“Our government is making it easier for our partners to build homes of all types, faster,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Increasing community, affordable, and supportive housing is a critical component of our goal to get at least 1.5 million new homes built by 2031, which will help all Ontarians, especially our most vulnerable, find a home that meets their needs.”

The funding, announced at the 401 Donald Street East location, will support four projects:

  • Shelter House/NorWest Community Health Centres, 401 Donald Street  $4,179,000 to help create 17 units for individuals experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. The two-storey building is located in the downtown core on the south end of the City of Thunder Bay. The building exterior will be upgraded with new windows, doors and electrical systems to improve the overall energy efficiency. Material choices will be made with the goal of reducing carbon emissions. The front entrance, equipped with a wheelchair lift and a new ramp, will be constructed along the west side of the building to provide a second accessible entrance. The renovations to the existing building will include several private offices for programming, a meeting room, dining space and a clinic area with private exam rooms.
  • Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario, 400 Archibald Street — $714,000 to help create 9 units for individuals experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. The single dwelling home is located on the south side of the city of Thunder Bay in the Hyde Park neighbourhood and linked by bus lines, with a bus stop near the property. The property is in close proximity to the Elizabeth Fry office, John Howard Society, other social services, and various shopping outlets.
  • St. Joseph’s Care Group/Northern Linkage, 201 Brock Street — $3,045,000 to help create 22 long-term supportive housing units for individuals with mental health issues, with 24/7 support provided by the St. Joseph’s Care Group. Each floor will provide a shared kitchen, dining area, lounge area, a staff room, washrooms, laundry facilities, and storage. The proposed layout was strategically designed to best support the needs of the occupants and assist them with living a productive and independent life while providing the required supports.
  • Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services, 1040 Huron Avenue — $1,300,000 to help create 4 units for Indigenous individuals with mental health and addiction issues. The lot is located within the urban settlement area of Thunder Bay. The site plan proposes a multi-family complex consisting of two 3-storey apartment buildings containing 12 units per building. To begin, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) will be undertaking construction of 24 units (4 units are HPP funded) with plans to eventually develop 70 housing units in total at the site. The units in the development will meet affordability standards by establishing rents less than 80% of the average market rent, with utilities included.

Today’s announcement is part of the province’s actions that have delivered historic results in getting more housing built faster, and complement nearly $1.7 billion invested in 2023-24 to grow and enhance community and supportive housing and address homelessness for vulnerable Ontarians.

The government has made the largest investment in homelessness prevention in Ontario’s history, adding $202 million in annual funding to the Homelessness Prevention Program and the Indigenous Housing Support Program — a 41 per cent increase that brings the total to close to $700 million. This includes an increase of $10,981,600 through HPP for the District of Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board, bringing the total to $16,549,000 annually, for the next three years.

Quick Facts

  • Service managers and Indigenous program administrators have the flexibility to allocate provincial funding to programs and services that address and prevent homelessness in their communities, such as rent supplements, homeless shelters, and supportive housing including capital projects.


“Housing is a well-documented determinant of health and key pathway out of poverty. Safe, appropriate and affordable housing is fundamental to the physical, economic and social well-being of individuals, families and communities. As reported by Sara Williamson, poverty expert with Poverty Free Thunder Bay, for every $1 spent on homelessness initiatives, communities see a positive return of $20. I am therefore very proud of our government’s investment commitments through the historic HPP funding announced for Thunder Bay in 2023, a 3-year annual increase totalling nearly $33 million, which has enabled a diverse array of affordable new housing stock to meet the specific needs of the most vulnerable in our community. We look forward to seeing how these crucial housing developments contribute to the stability, livability and resilience of Thunder Bay and area.”

– Kevin Holland
Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“This is wonderful news for our community and I sincerely want to thank the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for making today’s announcement possible. Preventing homelessness not only improves individual lives but also strengthens communities and contributes to a more compassionate and equitable society. This funding increase will allow partners to continue working together to ensure that everyone has a safe and secure place to call home.”

– Ken Boshcoff
Mayor, City of Thunder Bay

“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for making today’s announcement possible. People in our communities need more housing options that meet them where they are, and transitional spaces accomplish this. Today’s announcement will change lives.”

– Brian Hamilton
Board Chair, the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB)

“Ontario Aboriginal Housing (OAHS) is honoured to be a part of the Huron Avenue housing development in Thunder Bay, made possible through the invaluable support of the provincial government’s Homelessness Prevention Program and Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board. This initiative underscores our shared commitment to providing safe and affordable housing and aims to foster inclusivity and empowerment within the Thunder Bay community. Together, we’re building not just homes, but foundations for brighter futures.”

– Cora McGuire-Cyrette
Board Chair of Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services/CEO of Ontario Native Women’s Association

“NorWest Community Health Centres and Shelter House Thunder Bay proudly introduce our collaborative partnership. With the support of HPP, we will establish a transformative transitional housing unit, adding 17 beds to Thunder Bay’s housing system and alleviating pressure on the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board’s (TBDSSAB) High Needs Homeless waitlist. This ‘housing-first’ model aims to cater to chronically homeless individuals, transitioning them from emergency shelters to a better-equipped facility. Together, we’re committed to fostering a community where every individual has access to the care and support they deserve.”

– Juanita Lawson, CEO of NorWest Community Health Centres, and Paul Capon, Chair of Shelter House Thunder Bay

“HPP funding has empowered Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario to acquire a property dedicated to serving as a transition home, providing 9 units for individuals in need. Recognizing the pressing need for safe and inclusive spaces, particularly for Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals who face disproportionate systemic challenges, the new home will provide support for those experiencing severe forms of marginalization and vulnerability.”

– Lindsay Martin
Executive Director and System Advocate, Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario

“Northern Linkage is proud to create homes for people living with mental illness who might otherwise not find the housing they need. This funding through HPP, coupled with support services provided by St. Joseph’s Care Group, is going to make a tremendous difference right here in Thunder Bay, and we are grateful to the province of Ontario for this investment.”

– Luca Loffredo
Executive Director, Northern Linkage Community Housing and Support Services

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