How to help the Syrian refugees

by Gordon McIntyre

The government of Manitoba has put out a call for rental homes to house Syrian refugee families. 

Manitoba Housing is compiling a list of property owners interested in renting homes to refugees. The call is for two- to five-bedroom apartments and houses with month-to-month leases. The refugees will be responsible for signing the leases and paying rent with income support provided by the federal government or their private sponsors.

Send contact, property and price information to

There is also a toll-free help line for people wanting to assist refugees displaced by the crisis in Syria. Manitobans seeking information about donations or volunteering can call 1-888-662-3211, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Vulnerable populations — While we look to provide supports for an uptick in newcomer populations, there remains a high need with vulnerable populations within Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Rental Network, in partnership with several service agencies, has created the Housing Plus program. This program helps to link agencies and their clients to appropriate housing. We are currently looking for affordable bachelor and one-bedroom units, and occasionally larger units.

For more information about landlord supports through Housing Plus, contact Jason Simonson at 204-414-8220 or

Rental housing assistance — The Rental Housing Improvement Program (RHIP) is now taking applications until December 22, 2015. The program provides financial assistance to landlords who rent to tenants of low income and to repair or rehabilitate their property and bring it up to a minimum level of health and life safety.

To learn more about the Rental Housing Improvement Program and eligibility, visit the Manitoba Housing website at progs/repair.html or call 204-945-5566 or 1-866-689-5566 toll-free.

(Gordon McIntyre is the Co-ordinator of the Winnipeg Rental Network,