"It is our responsibility to make sure that Saskatchewan people with the greatest housing need, such as those fleeing domestic violence, or those struggling with homelessness, low-income, or a permanent disability, have better access to the Social Housing Program," Social Services Minister June Draude said. "These changes will help make room in our social housing for those truly in need by encouraging people with adequate resources to move into the private market."
"Saskatchewan's Social Housing Program hasn't significantly changed since the 1950s," Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Board Chair Keith Hanson said. "These changes are necessary when you consider how much Saskatchewan's housing market has evolved over the past several years and factor in our record-level population growth."
New social housing tenants will be selected based upon a more balanced approach that considers more than their financial circumstances, such as the safety, condition and crowding of their existing home. Consideration will also be given to those who are homeless or victims of domestic violence.
Other changes to the Social Housing Program include transparent eligibility criteria that better targets people most in need, and fair rents for people accessing the program. Taken together, these changes make Saskatchewan's social housing policies more consistent with other provinces in western Canada. Saskatchewan currently has the most social housing units per capita in western Canada.
"We want to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens have access to safe, adequate and affordable housing, and we must do whatever it takes to make this happen," Draude said.
Program changes will be introduced this fall in the largest urban centres. Over the course of the next year, the program changes will be introduced throughout the rest of the province and discussions will take place with local housing authorities in smaller and northern communities to develop a solution to address the specific housing needs of seniors.
For further details on the new social housing policies, please see the attached fact sheet or contact the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation toll-free at 1-800-667-7567.Email
(c) 2012 Government of Saskatchewan