Recent changes by the government are making it harder for vulnerable people and families to find an affordable place to live.
I will be hosting a public meeting on this important topic on Tues., Aug. 15 at Resource Assistance for Youth (RaY), located at 125 Sherbrook St. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., our panel discussion will begin at 7 p.m., and the event is open to everyone.
In the meantime, here is a brief background.
Rent Assist is an excellent program that supports tenants in privately-owned buildings, and is available whether a person is working or on social assistance. Rent Assist is both progressive and targeted in that support is provided based on the tenant’s income and the amount of rent they have to pay.
In June, the Pallister government announced cuts to Rent Assist. The Social Planning Council estimated 7,000 recipients will be negatively affected, some by as much as $100 per month. The government gave no advance warning, conducted no consultations, and left tenants with less than a month’s notice. The cut took effect on July 1, Canada’s 150th birthday.
Just a few weeks later the Pallister government took a similar approach to Manitoba Housing buildings, which are owned and operated by the province. Overnight, they increased the rent for some tenants to 28 per cent of income, or up to an additional $60 per month.
The housing minister, Scott Fielding, has also decided to stop giving tenants any choice of where they live. So, if your family experiences a break-up or you have to move for some other reason, you and your children could lose your entire community network if the only home you are offered is in a different part of the city.
It is difficult to view these changes as anything but a blatant attack on the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society.
I hope to see you at my public meeting on housing on Aug. 15. If you have any questions please contact me via email at Rob.Altemeyer@YourManitoba.ca or call my office at 204-775-8575.