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Province announces two new social programs

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The Selinger government introduced two programs today aimed at helping employment and income assistance participants find jobs and to help social assistance recipients and other low-income Manitobans pay rent.

Both were rolled out by Economy Minister Theresa Oswald.

She said through the Manitoba Works! Co-operative Work Experience Program, community-based organizations will place more than 250 employment and income assistance participants in on-the-job training programs across the province over the coming months.

Oswald said Manitoba Works! is part of the government’s plan to increase the province’s labour force by 75,000 workers by 2020.

Oswald also announced more details on the province's Rent Assist program. It’s a new financial benefit available to both social assistance recipients and other low-income Manitobans. It will replace the existing EIA shelter allowance and RentAid programs.

People on EIA living in private rental accommodations will see increases of between $50 and $70 per month for shelter costs. Single individuals, will now receive $435 dollars per month, compared to the previous $365 per month.

Oswald also reconfirmed the government's pledge that rates will increase over a four-year period to 75 per cent of median market rent for EIA participants.

A new Rent Assist calculator will be available online in July to help Manitobans determine if they are eligible for Rent Assist, and their estimated benefit amount, she said.

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