Legislature hears more complaints about Saskatchewan Income Support

Legislature hears more complaints about Saskatchewan Income Support
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Legislature hears more complaints about Saskatchewan Income Support

Legislature hears more complaints about Saskatchewan Income Support

The Saskatchewan opposition joined a Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS) shopper Thursday to once more name on the provincial authorities to vary the social help program and enhance its profit charges.


Frank Francoeur is a father of two who transitioned to SIS from the Saskatchewan Help Program (SAP) final August,

Francouer, who says he went on social help after going by a divorce and in addition suffers from psychological well being issues, informed reporters he has much less cash to cowl fundamental prices of dwelling on the finish of the month on SIS than he did on SAP.

He provides he just lately acquired a discover of eviction at his Regina Housing Authority (RHA) dwelling and says each SIS and RHA practices are responsible.

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The Saskatchewan Housing Company, which oversees RHA, usually subsidizes housing for its shoppers by charging them 30 per cent of their family revenue.

For shoppers on welfare, nonetheless, this technique isn’t used if that shopper is receiving more cash for shelter by a social help program akin to SIS or the previous SAP program.

Within the case of SIS, the Saskatchewan Housing Authority additionally takes into consideration “family prices” when setting lease ranges.

Within the case of Francoeur, who receives a $975 profit by SIS, this implies his lease elevated from $761 to $945 when he transitioned from SAP to SIS.

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He says there’s a distinction, although, in that SIS shoppers are anticipated to pay for utilities out of their shelter profit whereas SAP supplied a selected $40 utilities profit along with the shelter profit. On prime of that, energy payments have been paid for instantly by social providers.

Whereas he has $30 left for utilities in his shelter profit, Francoeur says the facility payments for his household will be over $120, forcing him to dip into his $285 fundamental SIS profit to cowl the fee.

All issues thought-about, he says that whereas on SAP he would have $315 a month to spend on different dwelling prices after lease and utilities have been paid, he generally has lower than $200 a month to cowl fundamental dwelling prices on SIS.

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He mentioned that, particularly when inflation is taken into account, he typically finds himself scraping by.

“I instantly make my lease and electrical energy cost,” he mentioned.

“My weight loss program is spaghetti and rice. There’s journeys to the meals financial institution. Clothes, the whole lot else has to die.”

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Whereas getting by on SIS has been a battle, Francoeur mentioned his eviction got here as a result of he was by no means informed his lease needed to enhance by almost $200 when he transitioned from SAP to SIS.

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He mentioned that was revealed to him throughout an annual lease renewal course of in March, and that he was informed he’d should pay the unpaid distinction. He mentioned he made an preliminary cost of $400 on that steadiness and that he requested if a cost association could possibly be organized, however that RHA declined.

He mentioned that his lease cost for that month was routinely utilized in the direction of these arrears, and that because of this he then defaulted on his subsequent lease cost.

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Social Companies Critic Meara Conway says tales like Francoeur’s are proof that SIS not solely wants increased profit charges, however that this system wants a definite utilities profit on prime of the shelter and fundamental advantages.

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“It’s mind-boggling. It’s simply merciless,” she mentioned.

“We’re at some extent the place the charges are simply so low that we’re ripping aside the social cloth, like folks can not stay on this.”

Social Companies Minister Lori Carr was not on the legislature Thursday, however former minister Donna Harpauer fielded reporter questions on the matter.

She defended the SIS program and its charges however declined to remark particularly on Francoeur’s scenario.

She mentioned, although, that officers from the federal government, which oversees the Regina Housing Authority, will meet with Francoeur to debate his case.

“There’s all the time shoppers, I do know from being the minister up to now, which have a change in circumstances, and should not perceive the change to this system that come ahead and that’s why the officers will likely be assembly with them.”

Click to play video: 'Support for high-needs Saskatchewan Income Support clients increasing'

Support for high-needs Saskatchewan Income Support shoppers rising

Support for high-needs Saskatchewan Income Support shoppers rising – Nov 12, 2021

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