NDP Raise Alarm on Rent Increase Approvals

October 25, 2020

Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg MB — The Manitoba NDP is calling for a halt to steep rent increases outside of RTB guidelines in the midst of the pandemic.

Through a freedom of information request, the Manitoba NDP has learned that the Pallister government has approved 100% of rent increase requests that fall outside of the Residential Tenancies Branch limit of 2.4% for 2020. This means that some renters are paying up to 30-50% more for rent in Winnipeg, making life harder for Manitobans.

“These outrageous increases for renters mean that some Manitobans have to choose between keeping food on the table and paying their rent,” said MLA Adrien Sala. “We know that Seniors and those living on fixed incomes will be most affected by the increases, and raising rents above guidelines during a pandemic is just plain wrong. The Pallister government needs to halt all rent increases through this pandemic, and revisit RTB legislation to balance the needs of renters and property owners in the future.”

Of the 310 above guideline rent increase applications in 2019/20 fiscal year, all 310 requests were approved. A total of 20442 units saw above guideline increases across Manitoba. “Thanks to the Pallister government’s changes, I am now paying 30% more for rent in Winnipeg. How would they feel getting a 30% decrease in their pay? The PCs are all about money – they don’t care about people,” said Grant Park renter Xaralambos Danilis. “More than half my months’ wages go towards rent, and that means 30% off my grocery budget. My apartment building is full of seniors who are now paying 30% more from their fixed incomes. The Pallister government should not be permitting these outrageous rent increases outside of RTB guidelines, which will make it harder for the Manitoba economy to rebound from this recession.”