December 2, 2019
Manitoba Liberals say there is a growing crisis in homelessness in Winnipeg and across Manitoba as the wait list for Manitoba Housing continues to grow each month at an alarming rate.
Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface, tabled a FIPPA in Question Period today that shows an increase of 1600 spaces, or 25%, in a 9 month period - bringing the total to 8,500 people. The document shows an increase each month from January to September 2019.
Lamont says the increase in the waitlist for Manitoba Housing coincides with the Manitoba Government selling off 94 properties since 2016.
"There is a serious problem here with housing and homelessness in Manitoba, where people can't get into affordable housing at all, so they are living on riverbanks and under bridges," said Lamont. "No one in Manitoba should be without shelter and it is clear this problem is getting worse, not better, under the Pallister Government."
Lamont and the Manitoba Liberals say the province needs to put an immediate moratorium on selling off properties and start investing the $400-million Federal-Provincial housing fund into affordable housing.
Statistics show those who live in temporary shelters are seniors, women and children escaping abuse, and single men. A recent study included Winnipeg among the 91% of Canadian cities where minimum wage is not enough to pay the rent.
"The PCs love to blame the NDP for having left them a mess, but that doesn't explain why people who are poor and homeless have to be punished for someone else's mistakes," said Lamont. "Shelter is a basic human need, and our goal should be shelter for everyone so everyone lives through the winter warm and safe."