Browse through some of our past advocacy campaigns.

Learn more about our the history of Make Poverty History Manitoba here.

Raise shelter rates (Rent Assist):

In 2012, Make Poverty History Manitoba launched a campaign to raise shelter benefits to 75% of median market rent.

See our campaign backgrounder!

EIA Recipients get Increase for Rent!
Provincial Budget 2014 
“Way to Go Make Poverty History Manitoba!”

Government of Manitoba Budget 2014 includes $20 million this year in new funds for rent support for people receiving Employment and Income Assistance (EIA). The government has made a commitment to raise benefit rates to 75% of the Median Market Rent (MMR) in four-years. A new shelter benefit program, ‘Manitoba Rent Assist’, will replace the current EIA shelter allowance and RentAid programs for people living in private rental housing.

EIA ‘Rent Assist’ increases beginning July 2014 75% of the MMR target in 4 years
General Assistance              $70/month General Applicants              $420-$563
Disability                                $70/month Disability                                $420-$563
Families*                               $50/month Families*                               $701-$825

*This category includes both single parents with two children (ages 4 and 6) and two adults with two children (ages 10 and 13) as examples ** The range in MMR for one person households represents 75% of MMR for bachelor and one bedroom units respectively.

The Province of Manitoba also said in the Budget speech, that it is committed to working and consulting with local community groups to advise the government on a multi-year plan to meet the needs of low-income Manitobans.


Campaign to Invest in Housing in Budget 2015:

What is neededRight to Housing and Make Poverty History Manitoba are calling on the Province of Manitoba to make the following investments in Budget 2015:

  1. Increase the housing budget by $30 million to adequately fund existing commitments to increase supply without reducing other important housing initiatives including the existing social housing stock.
  2. Increase the maximum Rent Assist benefit level to equal 75% of median market rent.

Background

Access to safe, quality, and affordable housing continues to be a serious challenge for Manitobans living with low incomes. Low vacancy rates combined with a growing population and increased demands for affordable housing have contributed to rising housing costs. Rental rates across Manitoba have increased by 60 to 65 percent since 2000. As housing costs become more unaffordable in the private market, the demand for social housing has gone up. The solution requires both increasing the supply of social housing and increasing financial assistance to help low-income Manitobans pay for housing costs.

New Social and Affordable Housing – addressing the supply side of the equation

The Province has taken significant steps to increase the supply of social and affordable housing across Manitoba. However, much more needs to be done to address the need. The Province’s most recent commitment is to build 500 new units each of social and affordable housing by 2016. However, the department responsible for housing did not receive a funding increase in Budget 2014. Community groups are concerned that without an increase to the housing budget, commitments will be met at the expense of other important existing housing initiatives.

Rent Assist – addressing the demand side of the equation

In 2013, more than 145 organizations across Manitoba endorsed Make Poverty History Manitoba’s call to increase the rental allowance to 75% of median market rent (MMR). The Province responded in 2014 with Rent Assist – a new financial benefit to help low-income Manitobans (on and off EIA) with housing costs. The government has committed to increase the maximum Rent Assist benefit level to 75% of MMR within four years. Last year’s budget raised benefits by between $50 and $70. However, further increases of between $150 and $350 depending on family type are needed. Manitobans need improved access to affordable housing now and are calling for the target benefit to be reached in Budget 2015 without reducing other important income benefits.

Target Rent Assist benefit by EIA family type

EIA family type Current Rent Assist Benefit Target Rent Assist Benefit* Requested increase in Budget 2015
Single: General Assistance $435.00 $586.50 $151.50
Single: Person with a Disability $435.00 $586.50 $151.50
Lone Parent, 1 child $437.00 $736.50 $299.50
Couple, 2 Children $521.00 $871.50 $350.50
* Target rent benefit is 75 percent of median market rent using: one bedroom for a one person household; two bedrooms for a two person household; and three bedroom for a three or more person household.

Increase EIA Rates:

EIA Rates in Manitoba Lowest in Canada for most recipients

We have renewed our work to improve the Manitoba Employment and Income Assistance Program with a push to raise EIA Rates.

As you may know the Manitoba Government released the EIA Rate Review in fall 2013.

EIA Rate Review

Unfortunately, the rate review recommended little to address the inadequacy of EIA in this province.  This coincided with a Caledon Institute Report showing Manitoba has the lowest EIA incomes in the country for single and disabled individuals.

Caledon Institute Report

A new fact sheet explains the details of the four actions to improve EIA:

  • Raise the rates to reach the market basket measure in three years
  • Create a pension like support program for people with long term disabilities
  • Increase the earnings exemption to $500.00 per month,
  • Establish an EIA ALL Aboard Working Group on rate setting with the community partners.

A new petition calls for the same actions.

Our goal is to help the Manitoba Government understand the value to our community of increasing EIA rates, as we have been saying in regard to increasing rent supplements.

Sign up and Show up to Raise the Rates!

1.      FACT Sheet: Get people reading and sharing the fact sheet.

2.      Petition: Get as many people as possible signing the petition, paper version or online version, and sharing the petition via email and Facebook.

Lend us your voice and sign the EIA Raise the Rates Petition!

3.      City wide church sign messages:  From February 24 – March 7, 2014. Many church street signs will read: “Love Thy Neighbor Raise EIA Rates”

4.      10 Days of Action Wake up for MLA’s: Between February 24-28 and March 3-7 between 8 and 9 a.m. MPHM supporters and coalition groups will meet at the legislature to raise awareness for this campaign. Bring your banners, noise makers, speaking voices and maybe a little hot chocolate!

150 organizations supported our effort last year to raise EIA rates for rent. It is time to sign up and show up again. Broad support of the community sends a strong message of how important improving EIA is to us all!


kNOw Poverty - Manitoba Provincial Election 2016

KNOW POVERTY is a community campaign to put ending poverty at the top of the agenda in the April 19, 2016 Manitoba General Election. We are asking political parties to commit to policies to address poverty in their campaign platforms. We are asking voters to ask candidates and parties what they will do to end poverty and make poverty a key voting issue.

Ask your candidates: what is your plan to end poverty?

We have developed a list of 6 key priorities we would like parties to support. These were based on broad community consultations. These key policies will have the greatest impact on both addressing the depth of poverty, and in affecting the widest number of people experiencing poverty.MPHM Banner

  1. Minimum Wage: Raise the minimum wage to a poverty line wage of $15.53 per hour
  2. Social Housing: Build at least 300 new social housing units annually for five years
  3. Welfare Rate: Double the basic needs allowance for Employment and Income Assistance recipients
  4. Child Care: Create at least 12,000 subsidized childcare spaces with priority in low-income neighbourhoods
  5. Mental Health: Double the funding allotted to community-based mental health services for low income Manitobans.
  6. Target and Timeline: Develop a comprehensive poverty reduction plan including targets &timelines to reduce poverty

More information about these priorities are available as one page backgrounders by clicking to each item.

We are seeking organizational endorsements for our campaign. Already over 60 organizations have endorsed these priorities. Add your organization’s name by sending an email (subject: 2016 Campaign Endorsement) to manitoba@makepovertyhistory.ca

Between now and the election, we will be organizing educational materials and events to raise further awareness about poverty and these issues. If you would like to donate to the campaign, or if your group would like to find out more about endorsing the campaign, please contact: Manitoba@makepovertyhistory.com.