By Josh Brandon
“Without housing, none of us can survive, let alone thrive. Housing is the single largest expense for low income families. When families have good homes, success in employment, education, access to health services and social participation are all improved. One of the best ways to ensure families have access to housing they can afford is for government to support the construction of new social housing and make it available on a rent geared to income (RGI) basis, either as publicly owned housing, or in partnership with non-profit, co-op, or Aboriginal organizations.”
By Josh Brandon
To tackle poverty, the Province requires a comprehensive approach, including targets and timelines for implementing measurable goals of poverty reduction, according to a report by the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg. “The Measures We Use: Indicators of Poverty in Manitoba: Review of AllAboard 2015-2016 Annual Report” provides an overview of the province’s poverty reduction plan, including its achievements, areas where Manitoba has fallen behind and recommendations on how the strategy can be strengthened.
The Winnipeg Plan to End Youth Homelessness will be a guide on what is needed in Winnipeg, based on community consensus and the voices of youth. It will be used by community organizations who serve youth, policy-makers, funders, and decision-makers, to support and work with each other in addressing the complex social and economic challenge of youth homelessness.
Head to the Here and Now Website to learn more about the report.
The 2015 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty states that 1 in 3 (29%) of Manitoba’s children live in challenging socioeconomic circumstances (Campaign 2000, 2015). Schools and school systems are just one part of a broader social support network for children and families, but they can have a significant and direct impact on the quality of a child’s daily life and future life outcomes. For that reason it is important to consider, among other factors, the work of schools and school divisions in promoting equity as a means to support the well-being of students and families.
In 2012, the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (SPCW) extended an open invitation to interested parties to discuss development of a study of the efforts of the public education sector to achieve greater equity for students across Manitoba. As a result, an Equity in Education Steering Committee was established. This report, developed in partnership with Manitoba Association of School Superintendents, Manitoba Education and Training, and the Manitoba School Boards Association, is the culmination of the work of the committee. It is intended to provide a snapshot of equity practice in Manitoba school divisions, support ongoing conversations around equity, provide suggestions about next steps, and celebrate effective practices and progress in creating more inclusive learning environments.
For the speech made by Ken Cameron, President of the Manitoba School Boards Association, on the occassion of the launch of Towards Equity in Education, click here.
Education Equity Project
In 2012, the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg invited interested parties to discuss the possibilities of studying efforts to achieve greater equity for students within Manitoba’s public education sector. The intent of this research was to determine what school systems and schools do to provide an equitable education for all; what special arrangements and provisions are and can be made for those who come to school disadvantaged, disenfranchised and marginalized by socio-economic circumstances. The Manitoba Association of School Superintendents’ journal has an article describing the research project (pg.19-21). The final report will be released in September, 2015. http://mass.mb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Spring-2015-Journal-Equity.pdf
These reports cover the relevant financial years and outline what the organization has done in support of social development in Winnipeg.
The community response to increases in Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) shelter benefits through the Rent Assist program has been widely positive.i For years, Make Poverty History Manitoba and a broad coalition of community groups have been pushing for shelter benefits to be raised to 75 percent median market rent (MMR). With Budget 2015, this commitment has been largely met. Less well understood are the improvements to Rent Assist for low income households not on EIA. This benefit is unique across Canada and provides financial assistance to low income renters including seniors, families and the working poor.
This budget has offered the largest investment in more than a generation in EIA rates, increasing benefits by between $78 and $262 per month depending on family size. It is completing its commitment to increase shelter benefits through Rent Assist to 75 percent of median market rent two years ahead of schedule, largely thanks to the concerted pressure from coalitions such as Make Poverty History Manitoba and community organizations over the past several years.
Above is the link to the OpEd piece written by Kate Kehler and Josh Brandon that appeared in the Friday May1st edition of the Free Press.
Persons receiving social assistance are able to get a range of health and medical benefits. His chart summaries these benefits.
The chart was prepared by University of Manitoba nursing students in 2014 while on a placement at SPCW. While the chart is comprehensive and relatively current, it should only be used as a reference guide in helping people get their benefits. EIA staff and advocates will know what is available.
In September the Government of Manitoba released its annual report for ALL Aboard: Manitoba's Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion Strategy. Covering many of the Government's activities and efforts over the last year, the report focuses on highlighting the most recent results for the 21 indicators of progress, as required in The Poverty Reduction Strategy Act.
In 2012 the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (SPCW) provided a response and recommendations for implementing the Act. In the spirit of continuing government-community engagement, SPCW is responding to the Annual Report with support, analysis and suggestions for follow up.
The Broadbent Institute has recently released a report on inequality, The Wealth Gap: Perceptions and Misconceptions, has just been released.
The survey shows just how much Canadians underestimate the wealth gap in this country – and how they want a much more balanced distribution. In fact, the results were so staggering that we produced an animated video narrated by Ed Broadbent to showcase the schism between people’s perception, their aspirations for Canada, and today’s disturbing reality.
Campaign 2000 released its national report card on November 24th, showing an increase in the number of children living in poverty in Canada over the 25 years of the campaign.
At least 281 homeless people died in British Columbia between 2006 and 2013. The true number is likely much higher. It’s this rarely discussed statistic that inspired ‘Dying on the Streets,’ the first report of its kind to look at homeless deaths in the province.
As municipalities across B.C. struggle with increasing homelessness and the City of Vancouver works to try and end homelessness by 2015, little attention is paid to the hundreds of lives lost in the province simply because individuals could not access proper housing.
This Annual Provincial Report, presented by the Department of Jobs and the Economy, covers from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.
Pages 50 - 62 specifically refer to the EIA Program.
by Anne Tweddle, Ken Battle and Sherri Torjman November 2014
This report focuses on the incomes of four different households living on social
assistance, commonly known as “welfare.” It is a continuation of the welfare incomes series published regularly by the former National Council of Welfare.
About 60,000 Manitobans receive some form of EIA assistance. While it helps prevent desperate poverty, there is a sense that it is not enough to help people live a decent lifestyle nor to get out of poverty. This options reports looks at some possibilities for change.
Detailed profiles of Residents Associations in Winnipeg, highlighting issues and strategies for representing their community.
On May 31, 2014, the Winnipeg 201 workshop was held for citizen groups, residents’ associations, and other issue-based organizations who take part in land development processes in Winnipeg to identify their expectations for the community engagement process.
The Campaign 2000 Child and Family Report Cards have tracked poverty in Canada for almost two decades. This year the Report Card for Manitoba will focus attention on how First Nations, Metis and Inuit children are faring.
A comprehensive directory and information resource to Sport, Recreation and Leisure in Winnipeg.
A neighbourhood housing plan is a way for residents to come together to create a vision for housing in their neighbourhood. This plan was compiled in cooperation with Centennial neighbourhood residents and community organizations.
The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg commends The City for taking the initiative to develop a new housing policy. We think it is important that the City will renew its commitment to enabling communities to develop and implement their own housing renewal initiatives. The strength, and greatest success of the previous housing policy, has been its capacity building within inner city communities. READ MORE
The Report card considers five dimensions of children’s lives: material well-being, health and safety, education, behaviours and risks, and housing and environment. In total, 26 internationally comparable indicators have been included in the overview. Canada ranks a terrible 17th place in the report card! UNICEF_child_poverty_report.pdf
Winnipeg is an economically divided city and many of our social challenges can be linked to poverty and inequality. However, recognizing the impact of income inequality has not yet spurned governments to see the common benefits of increasing income equality. When governments recognize that creating greater income equality is in the interest of all citizens, then we can expect to see the policy and program initiatives that can reduce income inequality and increase prosperity for all citizens. To read more click title to download PDF …
We are pleased that the City is reviewing its housing policy and is showing commitment to working to address the housing challenges Winnipeggers are facing. In this report we offer our assessment of the current Housing Policy, which leads to broad recommendations for the direction of a new policy. The information in this report is based on our experiences working in the area of housing and homelessness, along with research, meetings and conversations with community-based organizations.
A review of people experiencing homelessness in Manitoba, based on statistics gathered through HIFIS.
Survey of Winnipeggers perspectives on how well City Council is performing.
This review of the PRS Act sets out what should be done to make the Act effective.
This report, written by Harvey Stevens, addresses two serious deficiencies in the delivery of Social Assistance (SA) programs by provincial governments in Canada; namely, the absence of clearly defined standard budgets based on realistic needs of SA recipients and the failure to set SA rates at levels adequate to purchase items that meet those needs.
On behalf of the Department of Healthy Living, a survey of how individuals and organization are deal with the bed bug infestation was conducted by the SPCW.
The annual review of how children are being affected by poverty in Manitoba.
An analysis of how supporting women will augment the Canadian Government budget.
A defence of how social service contribute to the economy, not hinder commercial activity.