We cannot end homelessness unless people have access to low-cost housing and sufficient income to remain stably housed.

Make Poverty History Manitoba and Right to Housing called for an End to Homelessness in Budget ‘22

However, the 2022 Provincial budget announced no new investments to build more social housing and no increase to basic needs income benefits.

Where can we go from here? 

The Manitoba government plans to release a Homelessness Strategy in Fall, 2022. People who participated in the consultation process from all over the Province and across sectors called for the strategy to include

  • a major expansion to social housing, and
  • increases to income benefits that keep up with inflation.

Manitoba will not end homelessness unless people have access to housing and have sufficient income to remain stably housed.

We can’t stop now. 

There are 3 things you can do to support ending homelessness now:

1. Contact the Premier, Minister of Families, and Minister of Finance.

Tell them you believe the homelessness strategy will fail unless it:

  • Invests in 300 net new units of publicly owned rent-geared-to-income housing (social housing) annually for at least 5 years.

  • Increases the Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) basic needs benefit to raise the incomes of all Manitobans to at least 75% of the poverty line. 

More information about our policy recommendations can be found in our two-page backgrounder.

Use the email template below.

2. Endorse our campaign.

More than 40 organizations have already signed on to endorse these actions.

Email us at provincial@righttohousing.ca to add your organization’s name to the growing list of supporters.

For more information, view our 2-page backgrounder here!

3. Follow us on social media and share the campaign.

Send an email to the Premier and Ministers today.

Complete the form below to automatically send an email to Premier Heather Stefanson and members of the Treasury Board: Ministers Friesen, Helwer, Goertzen, Clarke, Squires, and Wharton.

*Note: Customized emails make more of an impact. Consider expressing your own concerns about poverty in Manitoba, or re-wording the email to sound more like you.

*Please add your name to the first and last lines of the email before sending.

Thank you for your support!


See our previous calls to action below:

Shared April 1, 2022

Manitoba Budget 2022 is right around the corner and we want you to join us in our work to end homelessness. We’re calling on the Premier, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Families to invest in ending homelessness in the 2022 Manitoba Budget.

Why now?

Manitoba has some of the lowest EIA rates in the country and our social housing supply falls far short of demand. We need action and we need it now in order to lift people out of poverty and to end homelessness.

What are we asking for?

  1. Housing- Invest in 300 net new units of publicly-owned rent-geared-to-income housing (social housing) annually for at least 5 years. This requires an annual investment of about $60M, less than 1% of the province’s total expenditures. 
  2. Income- Increase the Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) basic needs benefit to raise the incomes of all Manitobans to at least 75% of the poverty line (based on the Market Basket Measure - MBM). This requires an annual investment of about $90M.

What can you do? Join us! 

Organizational Endorsement
Sign-on as an organization to endorse the campaign. To endorse, email provincial@righttohousing.ca and indicate your interest!

Share from our social media
Check out MPHM's and R2H's social media channels and share the campaign!
Make Poverty History Manitoba on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram
Right to Housing on Facebook Twitter

Share, Circulate & Shout-out
We developed a brief backgrounder for a summary of the campaign and our work. Check it out here and please share!

Phone & Email Zap!

From April 4th-8th we're encouraging supporters to join us in calling for an end to homelessness with this year's budget. We'll be calling our MLAs, the Premier, Minister of Finance and Minister of Families (responsible for housing & EIA) in order to address these needs. Join us in doing so any day or everyday leading up to the budget! We even drafted a script below for your use.

See HERE for the link to find your MLAs contact information. Then follow-up with contacting the PremierMinister of Finance and Minister of Families.

Draft Phone/Email Script

Hello,

My name is ______ and I am calling to inquire with your office about investing to end homelessness in Manitoba’s 2022 budget. Did you know that the province's EIA rates are some of the lowest in the nation? And we have lost 880 units of social housing since 2019 alone due to government policy? Not only that, there are over 4,600 households on a waitlist for a unit. We need action to end homelessness for Manitobans, and we need it now.

Make Poverty History Manitoba and Right to Housing are calling for an End to Homelessness with MB Budget ‘22 by investing in the following:

1) Invest in 300 net new units of publicly-owned rent-geared-to-income housing (social housing) annually for at least 5 years. This requires an annual investment of about $60M, less than 1% of the province’s total expenditures. 

2) Increase the Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) basic needs benefit to raise the incomes of all Manitobans to at least 75% of the poverty line (based on the Market Basket Measure - MBM). This requires an annual investment of about $90M. 

While these factors alone are not the sole cause of poverty and homelessness, addressing them would create substantial change in our current systems and would set the way forward for ending homelessness. Can you commit to supporting these asks and working for an end to homelessness in budget ‘22?

 

Update: September 3, 2022

Celebrating a small win

Let's take a moment to celebrate a small win: this summer, the Manitoba provincial government announced a Family Affordability Package which includes an increase to the Basic Needs Benefit for EIA recipients. The letters you have sent to government leaders urging them to increase the Basic Needs Benefit have surely played a role in influencing this positive decision. Thank You.

To be clear, the increase is far less than what we have been asking for. People in EIA's general assistance category and without dependent children will receive an additional $50 per month, while those in EIA's disability category will receive an additional $25 per month. For folks in the general assistance category, this brings their income from 44% of the poverty line up to 47%.

Our position, and the position you have been helping us advocate, is that the Basic Needs Benefit needs to be at least 75% of the poverty line for vulnerable Manitobans to meet a basic standard of health and dignity. Clearly, this announcement falls far short.

Nonetheless, it is a step in the right direction. It also sets a good precedent for future leaders. When election time rolls around, this will be the benchmark against which other candidates will have to measure up. With that in mind, we are calling on our supporters to send a message to all MLAs from all political parties, to let them know that while we support the increase, there is more work to be done.

Will you join us in writing to the Government of Manitoba while this decision is still fresh?