Homelessness Pay-for-Success Partnerships: Request for Proposals

Accelerating the outcome-finance development process in the area of homelessness

Homelessness in Canada

Homelessness is a major issue in Canada, affecting 200,000 people every year and costing $7 billion to the economy. Homelessness and mental illness are closely linked and around 120,000 Canadians are simultaneously affected by both conditions. If we include people who are vulnerably housed (those in unstable, poor-quality housing or couch surfing) as many as 520,000 Canadians lack safe, affordable and supportive housing.

Encouraging developments in addressing the homeless population have taken place in Canada over recent years. Nevertheless, many of the available responses to homelessness remain focused on emergency services and crisis management, which lack attention to preventative measures and breaking the negative cycle. Housing First is a model that has demonstrated positive housing stability outcomes by providing immediate access to housing coupled with wraparound support services.

Project Context

The MaRS SIB Advisory Services team and partner Social Finance Ltd take an active role in conceiving financial solutions with the Canadian social sector, government, non-government outcome payers, and impact investors. Currently we are working on a pan-Canadian chronic disease SIB that we expect to launch in 2015, and are in advanced development stages on two other partnerships in areas of employment and infant mortality.

In 2014, the SIB Advisory Services team determined that an alternative funding mechanism could help mobilize capital to address homelessness in Canada. We released our findings in a report titled “Housing First Social Impact Bond Feasibility Study”.

Canadians benefitted from a comprehensive 5-year $100M+ Housing First research study called “At Home / Chez Soi” conducted by the Mental Health Commission of Canada that produced rigorous evidence of social outcomes and potential economic advantages of the intervention for various segments of the homeless population in five regions. Utilizing the learning from At Home / Chez Soi, we assessed the feasibility of using an outcomes-based financing approach to scale the housing first intervention. By combining performance-based payments and private investment, social impact bonds have the potential to improve results, overcome barriers to social innovation, and encourage investments in cost-saving preventive services.

Services offered, development process & expectations from partners

HF Graphic[4]

Now that the concept feasibility is established, the next step is launching a Housing First SIB.

With the support of the United Way Innovation Fund, the MaRS SIB Advisory Services team is offering pro bono technical assistance to potential outcome payers through a request for proposals.

We welcome proposals from government, as well as from the broad range of entities interested in paying for improved housing outcomes including donors, charitable organizations, or corporations.

The successful proponent(s) will receive pro bono technical assistance to support the development of a pay for success project in the area of Housing First. This assistance seeks to address the barriers that are currently impeding efforts to fund on the basis of outcomes in the area of homelessness.

Services will focus on project development, including target population definition, setting outcome targets, pricing outcomes, financial modeling, engaging partners and investors, and executing a partnership.

We expect the development process to last 6 to 12 months. Depending on the circumstances, effort and timelines could be reduced.

Who Should Apply

Any Canadian entity or partnership (including all levels of government, foundations, or corporations) interested in/with:

  • Improved social outcomes for the homeless and mentally ill in Canada
  • Innovation in social service delivery
  • Innovation in public-private partnership models
  • Funding preventive programs that could potentially have significant positive economic benefit to government and society
  • Procurement on the basis of outcomes
  • Mobilization of private investment capital for public good
  • Intent to execute a deal after completion of the development phase
  • Financial capacity to pay for outcomes
  • Willingness to work collaboratively with social service delivery organizations and investors
Proponent Selection

Following the submission deadline, applications will be reviewed and evaluated against the factors listed in “Who should apply” above. Interviews with shortlisted candidates may be conducted.

In order to apply, please review the Housing First Social Impact Bond Feasibility Study, download & complete this form and return it to us at cii@marsdd.com

Deadline for submission: April 27, 2015 at 5 PM (EST)

For more information on the Housing First SIB RFP, please email Senior Associate & Social Impact Bond Lead, Samer Abughannam at sabughannam@marsdd.com.