Manitoba

Renters being pushed out by condos, says Right to Housing Coalition

Dozens of Winnipeggers marched through the West Broadway neighbourhood on Monday, demanding that more rental housing be built in the city.

Condo development could push out low-income families in need of homes, group says

Dozens of Winnipeggers marched through the West Broadway neighbourhood on Monday, demanding more rental housing be built in the city 2:02

Dozens of Winnipeggers marched through the West Broadway neighbourhood on Monday, demanding more rental housing be built in the city.

Members of the Right to Housing Coalition walked in West Broadway to highlight an area that has seen a lot of condominium development lately.

Such development can push out low-income families and refugees who need affordable places to live, according to the group.

The coalition has released a report calling on the federal government to invest more money in social housing. You can read the report below.

Josh Brandon, one of the authors of the report, said the data shows there's not enough social housing units being built in Canada to keep up with the demand.

"Since 1993, the federal government has withdrawn from funding for social housing and being involved in providing housing for low income people in Canada," Brandon said.

Brandon said current policies and tax laws are only encouraging more condo conversions in Winnipeg especially in neighbourhoods such as West Broadway.

"This used to be a really affordable neighbourhood for working families, for newcomers. It's not anymore." Brandon said.

In Winnipeg between 1992 and 2013, there was a net loss of nearly 5,000 units of rental housing due to condo conversions and demolitions, according to the Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation, 

Area no longer affordable

Sharon Olson lives in the West Broadway area and said she was forced to move out of her apartment on Langside Street last year because the building was being renovated and the rent increased.

"Twenty one people in 21 suites had to move," Olson said.

She now lives on Young Street but her rent there just went up by $200 a month.

"I have to go every month, every two weeks to a food bank." Olson said.

"I live in poverty, I'm on disability social assistance, which I'm not proud of. I've been on it since I was 19 and I only have so much to live on." Olson said.

Olson said she's now looking for a new place to live, but there's not a lot of affordable housing in her neighbourhood.

"I love the area, but it's pushing me out of where I am living."

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