July 30, 2018 11:08 am

Saskatoon protestors call on Sask. government to reverse rental supplement changes

Protesters say recent changes to the Saskatchewan Rental Housing Supplement will affect low income families and people with disabilities.

Phillip Bollman / Global News

Protesters at Saskatoon city hall called on the Saskatchewan government to reverse recent changes to the province’s rental supplement program.

The province stopped taking new applications for the Saskatchewan Rental Housing Supplement on July 1.

READ MORE: Sask. NDP calls on government to scrap rental supplement changes

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Organizers of the Saturday rally said the decision comes at the expense of low income families and people with disabilities, and think it will increase homelessness and crime.

“Everybody deserves a home, whether it is a right or not, it is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” said Anais Dutka-Stainbrook, one of the rally’s organizers.

A new national housing strategy is being developed by the federal government and the provinces, but isn’t expected to be in place until 2020.

Dutka-Stainbrook said this is too long to wait.

“A two-year gap provides too much time for people to fall into hardship and to have their livelihood threatened,” she said.

“It’s not worth the lives of our people.”

Existing recipients will still continue to receive benefits as long as they remain eligible.

WATCH BELOW: Landlord association opposed to Sask. rental housing supplement cut

The Saskatchewan Landlord Association has also called on the government to delay the changes, saying it could put more people on the streets.

The changes are expected to save the government $5 million in 2018.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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