News Releases

News Release - Canada and Manitoba

March 26, 2024

Canada-Manitoba Partnership will Provide Rent Support for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

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Today, the federal government and Manitoba governments announced an enhancement to the Canada Housing Benefit (CHB) to provide housing supports for survivors of gender-based violence. The federal government is investing $13.7 million to create housing options that will be cost-matched by the Manitoba government for a combined total of $27.5 million in funding over five years. 

The announcement was made today by Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal, minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor, and Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth Marci Ien, on behalf of federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Sean Fraser, alongside Manitoba Housing, Addictions and Homelessness Minister Bernadette Smith. 

This enhancement to the CHB will help survivors of gender-based violence including women, children and 2SLGBTQI+ people find a safe and affordable place to call home. The funding benefit is expected to support over 2,600 households during the critical time of vulnerability and need experienced by those fleeing violence. 

Manitoba is the first province in Canada to co-design a program under the Canada Housing Benefit meant for survivors of gender-based violence, which does not require income testing in the first year of the benefit. This recognizes that individuals exiting violence may be experiencing financial abuse or face barriers to accessing other types of benefits because of complex family situations. 

The CHB for survivors of gender-based violence will follow the same terms and conditions as the existing CHB. While CHB funding is specifically for survivors of gender-based violence, provinces and territories will have the flexibility to use their cost-matching to support ending gender-based violence or other priorities and programs to assist this vulnerable population with direct-to-household affordability assistance. 

The benefit amount is determined based on family size and average regional rental rates. Funding will be provided to eligible applicants on a yearly basis through Manitoba’s non-Employment and Income  Rent Assist Program. 


“The federal government has invested more than $4 billion in the Canada Housing Benefit to provide direct assistance to households in need. However, housing affordability can still be a barrier for many people experiencing violence from seeking a safe place to live, which is why we are partnering with provinces and territories to enhance the housing benefit. With this additional funding we are partnering with Manitoba to lend a hand to those who have experienced gender-based violence, including women, children and 2SLGBTQI+ people, find a safe and affordable place to call home.” 

– Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal, minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor 

“Everyone deserves safe and accessible housing. With this agreement, our government is making an estimated 2,600 households more affordable. This new funding will support families and individuals that have experienced gender-based violence by providing housing that is safe and secure. We must uplift and support those most vulnerable throughout our communities.”  – Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth Marci Ien 

“We are grateful for this partnership with the federal government to give our relatives the financial support they need when escaping gender-based violence. For too long, women, children and 2SLGBTQI+ people experiencing domestic violence have faced limited options that have kept them in dangerous housing situations. This benefit will also help to answer calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the calls for justice from the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in a meaningful way.” – Housing, Homelessness and Addictions Minister Bernadette Smith 

Quick facts:

  • The federal government announced in November 2017 that it would invest $2 billion in a new Canada Housing Benefit (CHB) as part of the National Housing Strategy (NHS). Provinces and territories (PTs) are cost-matching this funding for a total $4 billion investment over eight years, starting in 2020-21. 
  • The CHB aims to reduce housing need for some of Canada’s most vulnerable by providing funding directly to households in need to help them afford their housing costs.
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) worked with PTs to create 13 CHB initiatives, one for each jurisdiction. These initiatives were co-developed based on a series of federal themes and are tailored to prioritize populations that are in housing need in each jurisdiction. PTs are delivering the CHB in their jurisdictions.
  • The CHB for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) is an enhancement to the already existing CHB.
  • Budget 2021 included an additional $315.4 million over seven years for the CHB to provide financial assistance for low-income women and children fleeing violence. However, the landscape of violence prevention has shifted since then with the introduction and subsequent endorsement and support of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence (Action Plan) in November 2022.
  • The National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence defines gender-based violence as that which is “based on gender norms and unequal power dynamics, perpetrated against someone based on their gender, gender expression, gender identity, or perceived gender. It may take many forms, including physical, economic, sexual, as well as emotional (psychological) abuse.” This may include intimate partner violence and human trafficking. 
  • The NHS is built on strong partnerships between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and continuous engagement with others including municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, and the social and private housing sectors. This includes consultations with Canadians from all walks of life and people with lived experience of housing need.

Additional Information:

Visit for the most requested Government of Canada housing information. 

CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, visit

Visit National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence to learn more about the plan. 

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