News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

March 29, 2021

PROVINCE ANNOUNCES $5.6-MILLION RENT BANK TO PROTECT FAMILIES AT RISK OF EVICTION

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Fast Access to One-Time Loans Will Ensure Stability, Protection for Households Experiencing Temporary Financial Hardship: Squires

The Manitoba government is providing $5.6 million to the Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association (MNPHA) to deliver a rent bank program that will support stable housing for low-income to moderate-income families, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a need to support renters experiencing an unexpected interruption of income that threatens their tenancies,” said Squires. “This Manitoba Rent Bank will address the immediate need created by the pandemic, providing housing stability and protection for families that are unable to pay shelter costs due to unforeseen circumstances.” 

The Manitoba Rent Bank will provide interest-free loans to tenants who are behind in their rent or need to move to housing that is more suitable. The program will be administered through the MNPHA and will be delivered regionally through local rent banks. 

“Through partnerships with organizations like SEED Winnipeg, End Homelessness Winnipeg and other community resources, this initiative will provide the short-term financial help along with the longer-term supports people need to maintain their housing,” said Christina Maes Nino, executive director, MNPHA. “No landlord wants to evict someone because they are struggling financially and this will be a critical resource to keep people housed.” 

Rent banks are a leading jurisdictional best practice in stabilizing housing for those in need and have proven effective in helping to prevent homelessness. COVID-19 has disproportionally affected the vulnerable and this will be one more tool to stabilize households in Manitoba.

The minister noted that rent banks provide fast-access crisis intervention loans that help families pay rent or overdue utility bills and avoid eviction. 

“This investment will help to prevent homelessness and minimize strain on families and children who may otherwise have to relocate to new neighbourhoods or communities,” said Squires. 

The MNPHA represents over 100 non-profit housing providers who collectively own and manage more than 24,000 affordable homes across 23 communities in Manitoba. The association is part of a larger community building the non-profit and affordable housing sector across the province. The mission of the MNPHA is to build a thriving, sustainable, non-profit housing sector through support services, professional development and education, advocacy and partnership development. 

The province will pilot the Manitoba Rent Bank for a two-year period and evaluate the program to determine its need for future support.

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