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Rent raised for high-income earners in social housing

The province has cracked down on high-income earners living in social housing, a taxpayer’s watchdog group said today.

Colin Craig, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s (CTF) prairie director, said the province took the action following a release last year by CTF that there were more than 30 Manitoba Housing Units with residents that earned more than $70,000 annually, including five who earned between $90,000 to $159,000. The documents were obtained through a freedom of information request by the CTF.

Craig said documents obtained by the CTF in a followup freedom of information request showed the province’s review found one person, living alone, earned $153,000 and only paid $370 in rent per month. In a second case, a couple was making approximately $137,000, but paid only $441 per month in rent.

He said the province calculated that by increasing rates on higher-income families, the government could raise an extra $108,288 to $316,975 per year in rent.

"We’re glad the government looked into the situation and raised rates on high-income earners in social housing to encourage them to leave," Craig said outside the legislative building.

Craig added that the government has said it cannot force people out due to provisions in the Residential Tenancies Act.

To read the government’s analysis, provided to the CTF, on the top 10 income earners click here, and to read the government’s note on proposed changes, click here.

Craig also said the units are located throughout the province, including Churchill, Brandon and Winnipeg.

He said he originally looked into the matter following a similar request made by the Alberta arm of the CTF in that province.


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