How rent assist can help.

With so many North Kildonan residents living in apartments or other rented accommodations, I’m often asked about how rent assistance programs can help people struggling to make ends meet.

Thankfully, recent changes to the Rent Assist program will help more families and low-income Manitobans pay their monthly rent. These changes will ensure that vulnerable people needing the provincial benefit will continue to receive it.

Rent Assist is available to low-income Manitobans who do not receive Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) and rent in the private market. Since the spring of 2016, nearly 3,000 more people have been enrolled in Rent Assist than under the previous government. While some other provinces are phasing out similar programs, Manitoba continues to provide one of the best Rent Assist programs in Canada.

Starting in July, the province is slightly raising the deductible, or contribution rate, from 28 to 30 per cent in order to properly sustain the program into the future. The changes we are making are keeping Manitoba in step with other provinces’ shelter benefit programs, and are within the standard recommended by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

EIA recipients will not be affected by the change in the contribution rate. In fact, Manitobans who receive a shelter benefit as part of their social assistance will see an increase in the amount they receive. In this year’s budget, we spent more than $7 million to index benefits to 75 per cent of median market rent, over $5 million for EIA Rent Assist and more than $2 million for Rent Assist for non-EIA recipients.

Manitoba’s 2018 provincial budget added $510 million to further support employment, income and rental assistance programs which are helping nearly 3,000 more families than three years ago. I’m honoured to be part of a government that supports more Rossmere households and across the province than has ever happened in the past.

Anyone with questions can contact the Department of Families at 204-945-2197 in Winnipeg, toll-free at 1-877-587-6224 or by email at provservic@gov.mb.ca

Our changes to the non-EIA Rent Assist program are adding to the improvements we are making as we fix our province’s finances and repair our services for all Manitobans.

While changes have begun, careful review and continuous improvement remain an essential aspect as my daily effort! If you’d like to meet with me, please call 204-289-4545 or email andrew@andrewmicklefield.com

Our office fields a full range of rental tenancy and other issues that we could discuss. Please also consider viewing the News, On Record and Video tab of andrewmicklefield.com for a full range of important updates.

Andrew Micklefield

Rossmere constituency report
Andrew Micklefield is PC MLA for Rossmere.

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