Researchers Call on Manitoba Government to Address Women's Specific Housing Needs

Wednesday, July 28 2010

Researchers Call on Manitoba Government to Address Women's Specific Housing Needs
Study Finds that Women need Safe, Stable, Affordable Housing

Women with low incomes have acute housing needs and are at greater risk of living in unsafe and unhealthy environments, says a new study conducted by the Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence (PWHCE) and the Women's Health Clinic (WHC). More women than men live in poverty and experience difficulty finding and affording suitable housing. In order to better meet women's needs, the study authors, Molly McCracken and Gail Watson recommend that federal, provincial and city governments need to adopt gender-based analysis for all new housing policies and programs.

A new report titled, Women Need Safe, Stable, Affordable Housing: A study of social, private and co-op housing in Winnipeg, was released on February 12, at the Manitoba Women's Advisory Council's Lunch and Learn presentation, 155 Carlton Street, concourse level, Winnipeg, MB.

"We want governments at all levels to adopt gender-based analyses of housing policies and programs to address equality issues and acknowledge women's specific housing needs," said Molly McCracken, researcher at PWHCE. "Women's housing needs will continue to intensify unless substantial action is taken. The proportion of female-headed renter households paying 30% or more of their household income on housing has increased and comprises 45% of Canadian households with core housing need."

The study also identifies which housing models and practices better meet women's needs and which do not. The effects of different housing policies on Winnipeg women's health and well-being, economic security and skills are documented in the report. Gail Watson, of the WHC says, "since women are the higher percentage of renters, new housing should be built to meet the needs of lower income women renters and eliminate the waiting lists for cooperative and public housing units. Women need to have access to affordable private market housing, public housing and cooperative housing."

In addition to the recommendation to implement gender-based analysis in all housing policies and programs, other recommendations of the report include creating affordable housing options for women with low incomes, participatory decision-making processes, and restructuring social assistance and disability assistance policies to meet the basic housing needs of recipients.

For the completed study visit www.pwhce.ca or www.womenshealthclinic.org

For author interviews contact:

Molly McCracken, Researcher,
Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence
(204) 982-6632
m.mccracken@uwinnipeg.ca

Gail Watson, Women, Poverty and Health Project Coordinator,
Women's Health Clinic
(204) 947-2422, ext. 134
gailwatson@womenshealthclinic.org
 

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