Assisting Renters Research Report

Assisting Renters: Manitoba’s Rent Assist in the Context of Canada’s National Housing Strategy

Rent Assist — a Manitoba rent supplement program introduced in 2014 — offers a unique approach to providing financial assistance to low-income Manitobans. Because eligibility for Rent Assist is solely income- and family size-based rather than tied to a particular unit or demographic, it has been identified as one of the more innovative rental supplement programs in the country. Therefore, when the 2017 National Housing Strategy was released with a provision for a portable rental supplement, Rent Assist was identified by housing advocates in Manitoba as a possible exemplar. The Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association (MNPHA), the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba (CCPAMB) and University of Manitoba researchers came together to study Manitoba’s Rent Assist program and determine what is working, what is not working, and what can be better from the perspectives of tenants, private landlords, and non-profit housing providers throughout the province. The intent of this report is to share the insights and lessons learned for future national and provincial housing programs.

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Navigating Non-EIA Rent Assist: Challenges and Better Practices Throughout Manitoba

One of the key findings from the Assisting Renters research was that despite the many benefits of the program, Non-EIA Rent Assist is underutilized and not well-known. MNPHA and CCPA-MB partnered on a follow-up project documenting what is working well to promote the program in communities across Manitoba, as well as the challenges to doing so.

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Video of the Research Launch

Videos of Research Participants


The research was funded by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Manitoba Research Alliance