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Community Advisory Board

The Community Advisory Board (Designated Communities or Indigenous Homelessness Funding stream) or Regional Advisory Board is the local organizing committee responsible for setting direction for addressing homelessness in the community or region. The Community Advisory Board is expected to coordinate efforts to address homelessness in a community, and is therefore expected to have an in-depth knowledge of the key sectors and systems that affect their homelessness priorities. The Community Advisory Board is thus expected and encouraged to have an engagement strategy that would detail how it intends to achieve broad and inclusive representation, and coordinate partnerships with community organizations and individuals. 

Roles and responsibilities

The Community Advisory Board is responsible for the following key areas:

  • Helping to guide the development of the community plan and provide official approval.

  • To this effect, the Community Advisory Board is responsible for engaging with key community organizations and individuals, including Indigenous, in the community beyond the homeless serving sector and gather all available information related to the community’s local homelessness priorities, and develop a coordinated approach to addressing homelessness in their community.

  • Assess and recommend projects for funding to the Community Entity.

  • The Community Advisory Board is expected to undergo this process with a comprehensive understanding of the local homelessness priorities in their community.

  • Members must recuse themselves in situations where they have ties to proposed projects.

  • Being representative of the community.

  • The Community Advisory Board is responsible for recruiting members, and is expected to ensure that its composition has broad and inclusive representation.

  • Supporting Community Entities in the planning and implementation of coordinated access.

  • Approving the Community Homelessness Report.


The composition of the Community Advisory Board is expected to be reflective of the homeless population groups within the local community (for example, youth, Indigenous Peoples and survivors of domestic violence) including those with lived experience of homelessness. Depending on the local homeless population, it may be appropriate to have separate Indigenous Community Advisory Board representation for Inuit, First Nations and Métis people.

participation on the Community Advisory Board is especially encouraged from:

  • Individuals with lived experience of homelessness

  • Indigenous Peoples and organizations, Friendship Centres; Indigenous housing organizations

  • Youth and youth serving organizations, including Child Welfare agencies

  • Organizations serving women/families fleeing violence

  • Organizations serving seniors

  • Newcomer serving organizations

  • The private sector

  • Police and correctional services

  • Landlord associations and/or the housing sector

  • Health organizations, including hospitals and other public institutions, and organizations focused on mental health and addictions; and

  • Veterans Affairs Canada or Veterans-serving organizations

  • Community Advisory Boards ex-officio representation to include Service Canada and the Community Entity who will advise on program eligibility requirements, and guide the Community Advisory Board where significant changes to the program are introduced.

  • Provincial/territorial, municipal and Indigenous governments who will 1) act as a resource for information on existing policies and programs, 2) provide guidance to ensure complementary between federal and existing investments and 3) keep the respective organization apprised of developments at the community-level (in other word, re call for proposals, list of projects to be funded, etc.). The voting status of these members should be agreed to at the community-level.

  • Where 2 different Community Advisory Boards are within the same community, it is expected that at least 1 Community Advisory Board seat is available for the alternate Community Entity or Community Advisory Board member to promote collaboration and alignment among priorities. The voting status of these members should be agreed to at the community-level.


The Community Advisory Board is responsible for developing terms of reference and other policies and procedures central to the functions of the Community Advisory Board, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Formalized procedures for addressing, real and/or perceived Conflicts of Interests, including the membership of any elected municipal officials;

  • Formalized procedures for assessing, and recommending project proposals for federal funding under the Reaching Home;

  • Identification of exclusive and shared responsibilities among Community Advisory Boards and Community Entities;

  • A formalized engagement strategy on how the Community Advisory Board intends to have broad representation, and coordinate partnerships with key community organizations and individuals; and

  • Membership terms and conditions, including recruitment processes, length of tenure, attendance requirements, and/or any delegated tasks.

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