Province hiking rent rates for low-income tenants in Manitoba

The return to in-person work amid scaled back public health orders is garnering mixed reactions among those working in downtown Winnipeg. Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images, File

WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government is increasing rental costs for another group of low-income earners.

The province has issued letters to landlords and tenants in public housing units that rent will be raised later this year to 28 per cent of a tenant’s income.

That is up from the current system that charges people 25 per cent for bachelor suites and 27 per cent for larger units.

The move comes two weeks after the government announced a similar increase for low-income earners who rent on the private market, and neither change applies to people on welfare.

Manitoba Housing says the increase will ensure the program is sustainable and helps those most in need.

But Make Poverty History, a poverty-rights group, says the change will cost tenants up to $60 more each month when they are already struggling to get by.

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“Tenants in social housing are already living below the poverty line and have to watch every dollar they spend,” said group chairman Josh Brandon.

“Any increase in rents or reduction in subsidies is going to mean they will have to make impossible choices like cutting back on food or other basic necessities.”

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