New city map highlights most disadvantaged areas

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This article has been published 2/26/2020 (594 days ago), the information it contains may therefore no longer be up to date.



New civic map highlights places where poverty is most common in Winnipeg.

The areas of greatest need are based primarily on the total number of low income people.

Com. Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge-Est Fort Garry), who chairs the Protection and Community Services Committee, noted that the list includes many downtown neighborhoods, such as Centennial, Spence, and Point Douglas, as well as some areas near the south end of town along the Pembina Highway.

The municipal report warns of poverty to some extent across Winnipeg. In total, a city spokesperson said on Wednesday that around 94,830 Winnipeggers are now considered to be living on low incomes – based on a measure that assesses the income required for a basic standard of living.

While the report itself doesn’t make specific recommendations to support communities, Rollins said the data is valuable.

“Putting this information in the hands of the community, in terms of defining the most disadvantaged neighborhoods… and ensuring that it influences (our) actions was the aim of the report,” she said.

The graph defines areas of higher need as those where more than 30% of the population is in low income and where the density and number of low-income residents is above average.

The city also demarcates areas of concentrated need, which meet the criteria of higher need plus at least one of the following: more than 50 percent of the population is in low income; a greater number of low-income residents than the average for higher-need areas; more low-income Aboriginal residents than the average for higher-need areas; or a greater number of low-income children than the average in higher-need areas.

Targeted neighborhoods are defined as those adjacent to areas with concentrated needs and where poverty affects a large total number of residents.

Rollins said this data has helped guide investments in affordable housing in the past and may also help target investments in recreation and libraries, as well as other social supports.

“This is information that can inform decision making,” she said.

The report was originally commissioned as part of the Winnipeg Action Plan to Address Methamphetamine and Illicit Drug Use, based on the links between drug use and poverty.

However, a local poverty advocate said he was concerned the city was not doing enough to respond to the data.

Josh Brandon, community facilitator for the Winnipeg Social Planning Council, said he was concerned that potential service cuts could make the lives of people in poverty worse.

Brandon called the potential closings of swimming pools, libraries and arenas in the run-up to next week’s city budget “risky” because such services can be used by those living in poverty to prevent crime. .

“We really need to focus on these areas. We need to make sure that young people have access to services, that families have access to health care, that there are adequate recreational opportunities… so that poverty does not weigh so heavily on them. Brandon said.

He said the city had taken some encouraging steps, such as plans to add a bus pass for low-income people, but that it should invest more in housing, recreation and community outreach – even whether it requires larger increases in property taxes.

“Maybe it is time for Mayor (Brian) Bowman to consider lifting the 2.33% cap on property taxes he has had for several years, and directing some of it towards these anti-land programs. really important poverty, ”Brandon said.

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Joyanne Pursaga

Joyanne Pursaga
Journalist

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne enjoys telling the stories of this city, especially when it comes to politics. Joyanne became a City Hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.

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