MaRS tackles homelessness with ‘Housing First’ Social Impact Bond

MaRS tackles homelessness with ‘Housing First’ Social Impact Bond

Request for Proposals: Addressing homelessness in Canada

Homelessness is a major issue in Canada—it affects 200,000 people every year and costs $7 billion to the economy. Alternative funding mechanisms in the form of a social impact bond (SIB) could help mobilize capital to address homelessness. By combining success-based payments and initial private investment, social impact bonds have the potential to overcome barriers to social innovation and encourage investments in services.

MaRS is tackling homelessness head on by issuing a request for proposals to qualifying entities intent on solving this complex issue. The deadline for applications is April 27, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Successful applicants will receive pro bono assistance from MaRS—with the support of the United Way Innovation Fund—in creating a homelessness social impact bond. MaRS services to the successful outcome payer will include defining the target population, setting the social impact goals and pricing them, as well as engaging partners and investors.

Who should apply

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

  • Interest in some of the following:
    • Improved social outcomes for homeless individuals with mental health issues in Canada
    • Innovation in social service delivery
    • Innovation in public-private partnership models
    • Funding preventive programs that could 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

Following the submission deadline, applications will be reviewed and evaluated based on the above criteria.

Social Impact Bond mechanics.
Social impact bond mechanics. Source: MaRS Centre for Impact Investing

For more information:

Email: Samer Abughannam at

To apply:

Please review the Housing First Social Impact Bond Feasibility Study, then complete & email this form to

Deadline for submission:

April 27, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EST

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