Housing and homelessness

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(VANCOUVER) The provincial government’s decision to end BC’s COVID-19 rental supplement and to lift the eviction ban for non-payment of rent as of September 1 is counter to British Columbians’ support for continuing emergency measures, a new poll commissioned by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives BC Office shows.
TORONTO – Ontario tenants who have fallen behind on their rent because of COVID-19 will need provincial help to stay housed when the current eviction ban is lifted, new analysis from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Maytree says.
Emergency measures are deemed universally necessary to prevent the transmission and control of COVID-19. Around the world, people are asked to: wash hands often, maintain physical distance and quarantine in your shelter (WHO, 2020, Health Canada, 2020). These are effective measures to slow down the transmission of the virus (WHO, 2020) but in communities with overcrowded homes that lack piped water and with no hospitals — how can Canada make this pipe dream a reality?
Photo by Elvert Barnes (Flickr Creative Commons)
Illustration by Maura Doyle Sometimes it takes one crisis to bring another into the light. 
Rent Assist is a made-in-Manitoba solution to housing need: a province-wide rent supplement program that helps lower-income renters in the private market to afford housing at 75 percent of median market rents. Since it was introduced in 2014, it has enabled tens of thousands of Manitoba households to secure and maintain housing that better meets their needs.
In our first issue following the outbreak of COVD-19 in Canada, Monitor contributors assess the federal and provincial government responses to date and propose how we might use this moment of government activism to fix the gross inequalities in our society—by improving social programs such as employment insurance, income assistance and our health care system, for example. 
Rent Assist is a made-in-Manitoba solution to housing need: a province-wide rent supplement program that helps lower-income renters in the private market to afford housing at 75 percent of median market rents. Since it was introduced in 2014, it has enabled tens of thousands of Manitoba households to secure and maintain housing that better meets their needs.  Read full report.Ass
First published in the Winnipeg Free Press March 31, 2020. Governments around the world are urgently acting to minimize the impact of COVID-19. As we focus on isolating and caring for those who are sick, promoting physical distancing for others, and assuring Canadians that governments will provide a safety net, the importance of housing stability cannot be overstated.

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