While much has been written about the lack of affordable housing in Winnipeg, the situation in other Manitoba communities has also reached crisis proportions. Thompson for example, has a zero percent rental vacancy rate. While residents continue to urge the provincial and federal governments to increase their investments in social housing, the City of Thompson is taking a more proactive role.
Thompson is Manitoba’s “service hub of the North”. With a population of some 13,256 it also serves as a trade centre for an additional 36,000 - 65,000 Manitobans. Approximately 36% of Thompson residents are Aboriginal, the largest Aboriginal population in any Canadian municipality.
Thompson is also a city with extreme income disparity. Thirteen percent of individuals over fifteen years reported income exceeding $80,000 in 2005 while 25% earned less than 15,000. The disparity has grown considerably since 2001. The population increased by 3.7% between 2001 and 2006. The number of individuals earning less than 15,000 decreased slightly (about 5%). But more striking is the increasing number of high-income earners in this period—a 65% increase in those earning $80,000 plus.