Types of rental housing in MB

An apartment building.

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Most newcomers start out by renting an apartment, house, or a room when they arrive in Manitoba. Depending on the size of your family, budget, or the lifestyle you want to lead, you can choose from the following styles of rental housing:

  1. Apartment– this can be a unit in a building equipped with elevators and security systems (highrise apartment). It can also be a walk-up (low-rise apartment) which is not equipped with an elevator because it has fewer than four storeys. Newer apartments may have facilities for sports and recreation, laundry, and other necessities. There are also basement apartments wherein a tenant may share some facilities with the house owner (who may live in the main part of the house) such as the laundry room, kitchen or heating system. However, there are basement apartments with separate facilities and a separate entrance.
  2. House – this can be single-detached or a single family dwelling. There are also semi-detached houses or duplexes. A duplex is attached to another similar house but has a separate entrance.
  3. Townhouse – is a home attached to other units in a row or on top of one other. They may have a yard and garage.
  4. Condominium – may be an apartment, detached or semi-detached house, or commercial space (e.g. stores, offices). Mainly, a condominium refers to shared ownership of real property, in which the owner holds the title to a specific unit, and has a share of the common elements (e.g. roof, parking garage, lobby) as well as any common assets (Condominium Act).
  5. Rooming house/room – this is a unit with several tenants renting a room. “Roomers” share a common kitchen and a bathroom. This is ideal for single occupants.

Housing costs

You have several options in terms of housing costs. Some options depend on certain qualifications and eligibility requirements:

  1. Private market housing – many ads you see online and in the newspapers are from the private market. These units or properties are developed by private companies for profit. The Residential Tenancies Act regulates this sector.
  2. Private non-profit housing – developed by private non-profit organizations, these properties are offered in the private market to seniors, persons with disabilities, and families.
  3. Co-operative housing – you will need to apply to become a member and pay a membership share fee for this option. Cooperative housing is non-profit and is regulated by the Co-operatives Act. In a co-operative housing, residents decide collectively how to take care of the units and common areas.
  4. Subsidized housing – for this type, the government shoulders part of the rent. What the tenant pays depends on his or her income, which is why it is called rent-geared-to-income (RGI). There are RGI homes in private, co-operative, or government housing units.

Do I qualify for subsidized housing?

The Government of Manitoba offers housing assistance to residents through various programs administered by Manitoba Housing.

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen, landed immigrant, or refugee
  • Be 18 years of age and older
  • Be able to live independently in a self-contained unit
  • Have a good rental history including past and present landlord reference checks
  • Meet program income limits

Programs

  1. Social Housing – these are properties that are owned and operated by Manitoba Housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. The agency assesses each applicant’s income, age, condition of current housing, and personal situation. You can download the complete guidelines and the application form from this link.
  2. Social Housing Assisted Living (SHAL) – this is an initiative to provide affordable housing and assisted living services to seniors 65 and up. This program offers a service package which includes two healthy balanced meals a day, regular linen and housekeeping service, and range of social and recreational activities.
  3. Affordable Housing Rental Program – this is for lower-moderate income households whose total income is below the posted Program Income Limit. For eligibility, you can refer to the table for Income Limits and Affordable Rents which are established by Manitoba Housing January 1 of each year.

For assistance applying for Manitoba Housing programs contact the nearest Manitoba Housing Office. You can also ask RGI assistance from Winnipeg Housing and Rehabilitation Corporation, Murdoch Management, SAM management Inc., and New Journey Housing. For more information on the Employment Income Assistance Program, contact Manitoba Family Services.

Sources: Manitoba Housing and Renting a Home in Manitoba (MIRSSA, MIIC, IRCOM, New Journey Housing, and the Winnipeg Rental Network).

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Community Resources

New Journey Housing has free rental workshops covering topics from rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords to pest control and prevention. They issue “rental training certificates” to attendees which may give you plus points with the landlord when applying for a rental home.

To know more about social assistance programs, read the article Manitoba Financial Assistance programs.

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Quiz

Please select the correct definition for each word as used in the article.

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