News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

June 9, 2021

PROVINCE MAKES SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT TO PROTECT LOW-INCOME FAMILIES WITH RENT ASSISTANCE

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Majority of Eligible Households Will See Increase in Rent Assist Benefits in Coming Year: Squires

The Manitoba government will invest an additional $30 million this year to provide Rent Assist benefits to Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) recipients and low-income renters, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“Our government is committed to ensuring that more Manitobans have access to safe, appropriate and affordable rental housing,” said Squires. “By investing in Rent Assist, we are providing financial supports to protect vulnerable Manitobans who might otherwise become trapped in a cycle of poverty.”

Under Manitoba’s Rent Assist program, eligible households receiving EIA are provided with the benefit as part of their monthly assistance. Low-income renters who are not receiving EIA are also eligible.

The minister noted the province’s innovative Rent Assist program provides benefits to Manitobans on and off social assistance, and said unlike most programs in other jurisdictions, it is tied to the actual cost of renting and indexed annually. In addition, Rent Assist is open to all household types, whereas programs in other jurisdictions are restricted to certain kinds of households, such as those with single parents. 

This year, Rent Assist and non-EIA Rent Assist recipients will see an increase in their benefits up to 11 per cent, depending on the composition of their households. Currently, approximately 23,000 households on EIA and 7,700 low-income households not on EIA receive the benefit.

Rent Assist rates are adjusted annually through regulation to align with Winnipeg’s median market rental rate, which is established independently by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. EIA Rent Assist benefits will be indexed in July 2021 to ensure that maximum benefits remain at 75 per cent of median market rent. Non-EIA Rent Assist benefits will be indexed to 80 per cent of median market rent, beginning this year.

The minister noted that investments in non-EIA Rent Assist have increased steadily and significantly over the past several years, to $62 million in 2021-22 from $13.1 million in 2015-16. At the same time, through rent control, the annual rent guideline is now frozen through 2022 and 2023 to help Manitoba renters catch up after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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