Rent Relief Now! April 1st is coming up!
The Right to Housing Coalition and Make Poverty History Manitoba are pleased that Premier Pallister has responded to calls for a freeze on evictions and rent increases until April 1st.
This is a good first step. But it is not enough. Far too many Manitobans are already living paycheque-to-paycheque—
The federal government will be rolling out its Emergency Response Benefit soon, but provincial governments will need to do their part too.
The Manitoba government now needs to follow the lead of other provinces and provide rent relief to those who have lost income and won’t be able to pay their rent. Yesterday the B.C. government banned evictions and rent increases, but it also went the extra step announcing up to $500 a month rent subsidy for households with lost earnings. Voices from across the country calling for even stronger measures like a rent cancellation are growing louder. Premier Pallister has noted the challenges landlords would face with a total rent deferral while also saying nothing is off the table in the longer term.
In the short term, Manitoba must get emergency rent relief to those who need it. Financially strapped renters need peace of mind knowing that they will not owe thousands of dollars in rent after the crisis has subsided.
This is not the time for a tepid approach, we need strong and bold action now.