The City of Peterborough provides social services including Social Assistance, Children's Services and Housing and Homelessness.


Social Assistance
Social Assistance provides personnel and other client program costs to deliver Financial Assistance and Stability Supports. Eligible residents receive help with costs of food, shelter, dental, vision care and expenses related to case plan goals and employment readiness.


Peterborough continues to implement significant changes in the administration of the Ontario Works (OW) program as a prototype site for the province-wide transformation of social assistance. Full implementation of the Social Assistance Renewal Plan was delayed in early 2022. The Renewal Plan includes shifting the shared responsibilities for OW and the Ontario Disabilities Support Program (ODSP) at both the provincial and municipal levels. Municipalities will case manage and collaborate with a range of community partners to provide Stability Supports and discretionary benefits as well as the full range of other municipal benefits. The
Province will provide financial supports, financial controls, and back-end supports that can be centralized. 

Municipal work will be completed with a person-centered lens, connecting services, and navigating broader needs such as childcare, housing, physical, mental health, and addictions supports. Technology improvements expand client accesses to digital service channels including texting, email, and on-line while maintaining walk-in services. More flexible options create opportunities to for services outside the traditional office setting.

From January 2021 until March 2022, 1,973 clients were referred to Employment Ontario service providers for job search and job placement supports. 

The 2021 OW actual caseload average was 2,768, and the 2022 budgeted average caseload is 3,300. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and other financial supports being extended late into 2021, the average caseload remained lower. The average caseload for the first three months of 2022 is 2930. The 2023 average caseload has been set at 3,350 as numbers are expected increase across the province. 

The Province continues to fund Mandatory Benefits at 100% while OW discretionary benefits are capped at $10 per month of the combined OW and ODSP cases. Since 2018, OW Administration funding has been frozen except for specific one-time projects approved in the year. A new OW Administration funding model is expected to be announced in 2023.

Performance Data

Statistics - Social Assistance with both City and County figures
Program202020212022 (forecast)

OW Caseload




Gross OW Monthly Cost per Case





 Children's Services
The City of Peterborough provides personnel and other support costs to deliver Children’s Services for the early years and childcare programs. Fee subsidy to eligible families, Canada-Wise Early Learning and Child Care (SWELCC) funding, operating grants to licensed child care and EarlyON service providers, and Special Needs Resource (SNR) programming allows families to participate in employment, training and parenting.


There has been a slight increase of licensed child care spaces in the City and a slight reduction in the County. The result is a cost share adjustment to 68% City, 32% County in 2023 from 67% City, 33% County in 2022. 

In April 2022 the Provincial and Federal governments jointly announced the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) Plan. This plan will provide financial support to Child Care Agencies to reduce the parental cost for child care agencies that opt-in to CWELCC. The roll out of CWELCC is incremental. 

Funding received by the City is to be used towards achieving the objectives of:

  1. Providing a 25% fee reduction retroactive to April 1, 2022, building to a 52.75% reduction in average parent costs for licensed child care by the end of the calendar year 2022 and reaching an average parent fee of $10 a day by 2025-26 for licensed child care spaces.
  2. Addressing barriers to provide inclusive child care; and
  3. Valuing the early childhood workforce and providing them with training and development opportunities.

In June 2022, Council approved the directly operated child care programs opting in to the CWELCC program. By the end of 2022, all fees for children 0-5 years of age will be reduced by 52.75% of the fees as of March 27, 2022. Kindergarten-aged fees will be reduced to a minimum of $12 per day. Fees for the School-Aged programs for children 6-12 years of age will be increased by 2% as they are not included in the CWELCC. 

In 2022, some Children's Services administration funding was cost shared at a rate of 50/50 with municipalities and the threshold for allowable Children's Services administration funding was reduced from 10% to 5%. With the introduction of the CWELCC, the Province moved administration funding back to the 10% threshold to support the additional municipal workload associated with


In 2022, the City received $1,262,727 in EarlyON (EO) Child and Family Centre funding. This program is 100% provincially funded. It is anticipated that in 2023 this funding will increase to $1,387,067.

Performance Data

Statistics - Children's Services
Program202020212022 (forecast)

Children served - Fee Subsidy




Licensed Child Care Spaces




Children Served - Special Needs Resourcing




Children Served - EarlyON Child & Family Centres 1,400 871 1,050


Housing and Homelessness

The City of Peterborough is the Service Manager for Housing and Homelessness Services. This responsibility
includes funding, providing policy direction, and overseeing standards for approximately 2,000 social housing units (1,569 of the units are Rent Geared to Income units). Social Housing is owned and managed by 16 non-profit organizations and Peterborough Housing Corporation (PHC). 

Housing and Homelessness Services are also responsible to plan, administer and fund housing options from shelters to affordable housing. Increasing pressures since COVID has highlighted the need to provide safe and housing-focused shelter, prevent homelessness and find innovative permanent housing solutions.


Homelessness Services has service contracts with local partners as part of a homelessness system response. The system continues to experience financial pressures related to increased demand, exponential increases in the cost of housing, low incomes, low vacancy rates, and individuals with increasingly complex social and health presentations. The strategic direction is towards creating permanent housing, while balancing the need for emergency responses. 

The City received 5 allocations of Social Services Relief Funding (SSRF) from the Province. This funding will end on December 31, 2022, while the issues related to homelessness worsen. SSRF funding allowed the City to offer the Overflow Shelter services 24/7, add enhanced health and safety measures, add Housing Support  Workers, and enhanced security around the neighbourhood. To operate the Overflow Shelter past 2022 would require 100% municipal funding. There is only $250,000 in the City’s base homelessness budget. Homelessness funding from the County is capped at $208,250 annually. 

Additional SSRF Funding was also added to the Housing Stability Fund, is used for homelessness prevention. The draft budget contains an additional allocation to address increased demand for HSF. Staff have also been working with PHC to secure housing units in the McRae Phase 2 project. This is a collaboration with Peterborough Regional Health Centre, VON, Ontario Health East, PHC and Social Services. Fifteen units will be dedicated to individuals from the Homelessness By-Name Priority list. $445,000 was added to the budget for permanent housing for up to 55 to 60 people. An additional $200,000 is requested in the 2023 budget to support this new initiative. 

As of April 1, 2022, provincial homelessness funding was consolidated under the Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP). HPP combined the funding from the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI), Home for Good, and the Strong Communities Rent Supplement. HPP offers more flexibility and continues the funding for of the Strong Communities Rent Supplement program, which was due to expire in 2023. The funding allocation has not been confirmed beyond March 31, 2023.

Performance Data

Housing and Homelessness Statistics
Program202020212022 (forecast)

Housing Stability Fund - number of issuances




Shelter Days of Care including Overflow Shelter




Rent Geared to Income Housing Wait List




Average Monthly Rent - two-bedroom unit




Purpose-built Rental Housing Vacancy Rate





2023 Overview

Social Assistance
Description2023 recommended
Expenditures $42,069,845
Revenues, County contribution $861,663
Revenues, Provincial and other $36,745,128
Net requirement $4,463,054
Children's Services
Description2023 recommended
Expenditures $34,623,986
Revenues, County contribution $693,650
Revenues, Provincial and other $32,456,331
Net requirement $1,474,005
Housing and Homelessness
Description2023 recommended
Expenditures $23,090,986
Revenues, County contribution $6,325,704
Revenues, Provincial and other $10,696,935
Net requirement $6,068,348