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Sask. government makes changes to income support program following criticism

Regina tent city receives donations

The Saskatchewan government says it’s making changes to its Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS) program for people who are at risk of homelessness.

The Ministry of Social Services says it will provides direct payments for rent, utilities and security deposits for some clients who are considered high needs.

The changes come after repeated calls for changes from advocates and the NDP Opposition. 

In 2019, the Ministry of Social Services announced the creation of the SIS program, which would replace existing income support programs.

The previous programs covered the cost of utilities for clients, but the new program puts the costs of rent, utilities, taxes and all other home-related costs under a shelter benefit, meaning a single adult will have to pay for all the home-related costs with $500-$600 each month.

Clients also receive $285 to meet all other basic needs including food, transportation, clothing and personal items.

The ministry phased out the previous programs and fully transferred all clients to the SIS program in August.

Surveys by the Saskatchewan Landlord Association show more than 30 per cent of SIS clients – about 4,000 people – did not pay rent in September or October.

On Friday, the ministry said it will also pledge an additional $113,000 in 2021-22 to increase money management and trusteeship services, provided through community organizations, by 25 per cent. Top Stories

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