Staff and members of the Canadian CED Network – Manitoba (CCEDNet-MB) called on 2014 municipal election candidates to share their position on policies that support our collective vision of fairer and stronger local economies, reduced poverty, and more sustainable communities. This is Jenny Gerbasi's response:
1. Are you in favour of this policy practice? If yes, how will you work to implement a procurement strategy that takes into account the added economic, social and environmental value of purchasing from social enterprises and other businesses that generate community benefit through the inclusion of Community Benefit Clauses in contracts and purchases?
I am in favour of exploring options that provide local economic and social benefits while providing city good and services to the city’s expectations. I will raise this with the new mayor and council for further discussion to look into this.
2. Are you in favour of Right to Housing’s proposal that the City of Winnipeg support at least 350 new units of affordable rental housing and 350 new units of social housing over three years? If yes, what City supports will you provide so this target can be achieved?
I worked very closely with Right to Housing while working on the current direction of the housing plan. The Housing Policy directs the city to, among other things, prioritize a sufficient supply of affordable housing, to build partnerships, and to provide a framework of programs, tools, resources and partnerships to meet the city’s housing needs.
The five-year Housing Implementation Plan establishes goals to support a healthy rental vacancy rate of 3%, engage in strategic investments towards neighbourhood revitalization, and reduce the homeless population by 80%. This plan considers various incentives and leveraging of existing partnerships and resources to achieve these goals, while having the flexibility to consider other proposed options for improvements.
I will continue to be open to suggestions from CCEDNet and other community stakeholders as we implement new housing strategies going forward.
3. Are you in favour of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy for Winnipeg with targets and timelines? If yes, how will you partner with community-based organizations and other key stakeholders to create and implement one?
Yes, I am in favour of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy with targets and timelines I believe we as a city need to show leadership and be a strong voice in a comprehensive plan that involves the province, community organizations, and other stakeholders. I am aware of “The Plan to End Homelessness in Winnipeg” that is being developed led by the End Homelessness task force. We need political will (which has been lacking) to make this happen.