Adequate Housing Grows Less Accessible for EIA Recipients: MPHM Press Release

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September 5, 2012
N E W S   R E L E A S E 
Winnipeg - The Province should give people on welfare enough money to rent decent accommodations, according to Make Poverty History Manitoba.
"The province's announcement today of a one-per cent rent guideline increase will further exacerbate the gap between what welfare recipients get from the province and what they have to pay out to private landlords for rent," says Kirsten Bernas, spokesperson for MPHM.
"We are asking the provincial government to make a commitment to improve housing affordability by increasing the rental allowance. We will be looking for this commitment in the upcoming Throne Speech and Budget," Bernas said.
"Just as property owners need room to increase rents to keep up with costs, individuals and families on EIA need sufficient income to pay their rent. The current rates are no longer defensible," she said.
EIA recipients are provided with a rental allowance that has increased marginally since 1992 when compared to market rents which have gone up by approximately 60 to 70 per cent during the same period.
MPHM is asking the Province to increase the rental allowance to 75 per cent of median market rent to catch up to the realities of Manitoba's current private rental housing market.
The rent guideline will increase by 1 per cent as of January 1, 2013, allowing all rents to increase in the private rental market. Landlords are also allowed to apply for an increase above the guideline. This will increase the housing affordability gap for Manitobans relying on EIA. Up to 60 per cent of EIA recipients are persons with disabilities who may be unable to work.
Nearly 80 organizations have signed in support of MPHM's campaign. These include representatives of the private sector, labour, Aboriginal and Metis populations, newcomer populations, housing and poverty reduction advocates, and faith-based groups.
MPHM is a coalition of organizations collaborating to reduce and ultimately eliminate poverty and social exclusion so all Manitobans can achieve their full potential.
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For more information or to arrange an interview with MPHM, please contact:
Kirsten Bernas, Make Poverty History Manitoba
(204) 943-0547 or 204-688-7050

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