Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, MB –
Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont, MLA for St. Boniface announced today his party would commit to “Same-Day Housing” to make sure people who are unhoused can get safe shelter the day they apply for it.
The MLP Leader and candidates also committed to bringing in new protections for tenants and seniors to fix the Residential Tenancies Branch and defend Manitobans against rent hikes and evictions.
“Manitoba Liberals are committing to bringing in to Same-Day housing in Manitoba. We want to end homelessness in this province, and that means treating it as the emergency it is. Right now, under the PCs, people have to be homeless for six months to get help. The NDP said they would take eight years. For a person who doesn't have a roof over their head, every single day is an emergency – for them, and the community we live in,” said Lamont. “Many people are on the streets of Winnipeg because the government of Manitoba abandoned them there. Over half the people living on the streets of Winnipeg used to be in Child and Family Services. They were taken by provincial authorities from their families as wards of the province, and when they turned 18, the PC and NDP governments abandoned them on the street. That’s why ending homelessness in Manitoba must be an act of reconciliation. ”
Today, the Manitoba Liberal Party is committing to:
1. Same-Day Housing to ensure no one is sleeping in Manitoba parks or bus shelters by 2025.
We will work with the Federal Government, the City of Winnipeg, Indigenous leadership and organizations, AMM and Non-Profit Organizations, to develop and identify 10,000 housing unit options, including identifying and repurposing currently vacant spaces and buildings.
We will also work with private landlords to identify available space for placement.
Manitoba Liberals commit to providing support for those who are housed. Currently, there is often insufficient support for those who are housed. Providing the support needed to address routine matters like getting EIA support and health cards as well as help with mental health issues, and addictions is critical to keeping people housed.
The Manitoba Liberals said they will offer trial outcomes-based models that focus on providing support for “heavy users” of health and emergency services first. A day in the hospital, the ER, or in police custody can cost from $500 to over $1000 a day.
2. Recognize that Ending Homelessness in Manitoba is an act of Reconciliation.
We already committed to Emergency Shelters for Women and to fund half-way houses for former provincial inmates. The 2022 Winnipeg Street Census showed that 68% of those who are experiencing homelessness are Indigenous (with 89% of those sleeping outdoors being indigenous).
This is due directly to the current Provincial Government Policy under the PCs and NDP. Over 50% of the people homeless on the streets of Winnipeg were in CFS, and many are being discharged straight out of provincial jails into homelessness. There are still people homeless in Manitoba from many First Nations being flooded in 2011 by the Provincial Government.
3. Protect and Support Tenants of Manitoba Housing.
We will ensure that all Manitoba Housing buildings are held to high standards of safety, security, support, and pest control.
4. Protect Tenants and Seniors from Evictions and Out-of-Control Rent Hikes at the Residential Tenancies Branch.
With current inflation, the Residential Tenancies Branch (RTB) rules are out of date and too many tenants are facing above-guideline rent increases, and seniors are facing evictions. We will bring in tough new rules at the RTB to crack down on “reno-victions”.
“The cost of crisis emergency for people who are homeless, like ER visits, or being detained by police because no mental health or social workers are available are much more costly than providing the necessary supports and housing,” said Lamont.
Manitoba Liberals say they will help people escape homelessness and poverty for good. The necessary support needed to be provided to assess and treat the reasons people are homeless including poverty, addictions, the Child and Family Services System; Learning Disabilities; ADHD; FASD; autism; and those who are 2SLGBTQ.
The Manitoba Liberals have already announced creating shelters dedicated to women and families in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson.