Report: Homelessness increasing despite government spending by Liberals – PBO

Homelessness on the rise despite Liberal government’s spending: PBO

“The Liberal government’s $561 million annual spending plan to tackle homelessness has missed the mark, with homelessness in Canada on the rise by 20% since 2018. Despite the significant increase in funding towards homelessness programs, the desired outcomes have not been achieved, as per a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

The Failure of Reaching Home Program:

Infrastructure Canada has allocated a substantial amount – $561 million annually, a 374% increase from the previous decade – towards combating homelessness through the Reaching Home program. However, the latest data shows that the number of homeless individuals in Canada has surged, indicating that the program is falling short of its objectives.

The Calculations and Reality Check:

The report utilized Point-in-Time counts to ascertain the number of homeless Canadians, revealing an alarming increase in homelessness figures. The current statistics point to a rise of 34,270 homeless individuals, with a 38% increase in chronically homeless people since 2018. These numbers highlight the urgency of addressing the escalating crisis.

The Cost of Addressing Homelessness:

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre raises a valid question – if it costs half a billion dollars to drive up homelessness, how much would it take to alleviate the issue? The National Housing Strategy’s goal of reducing chronic homelessness by 50% by 2027-28 seems far-fetched without a significant increase in funding, as indicated by the report.

The Unmet Targets and Growing Concern:

Despite the ambitious target of eradicating chronic homelessness by 2030, the current trajectory does not bode well for achieving this objective. The stark contrast between the baseline numbers in 2018 and the current statistics underscores the failure to curb homelessness effectively.


The concerning rise in homelessness numbers, despite substantial financial investments, calls for a reevaluation of existing strategies and a more comprehensive approach to address the root causes of homelessness. It is imperative for the government to reassess its current programs and allocate resources effectively to combat this pressing issue before it exacerbates further. The time to act decisively is now, before the homelessness crisis spirals out of control.”



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