Loading articles...

New analysis puts rental housing affordability at the forefront of the federal election campaign

Last Updated Sep 18, 2019 at 5:22 am PST

Summary

Six of the least affordable ridings for rental housing in Canada are in B.C., new data shows

The report finds in B.C., single mothers, Indigenous peoples and new immigrants are the most affected groups

The B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association is calling on federal party leaders to bolster the National Housing Strategy

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Six of the 20 least affordable ridings for rental housing in Canada are in B.C., according to a new report from the Canadian Rental Housing Index.

The report finds in B.C., single mothers, Indigenous and young peoples, and new immigrants are the most affected groups.

If you’re spending less than 30 per cent of your income on rent, that’s considered affordable. Over 50 per cent is considered crisis level.

In the federal ridings of Vancouver Quadra and Richmond Centre: three out of 10 renters are paying more than half their monthly income on housing, according to the index.

However, while the Lower Mainland may seem to be hard-hit, the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association says it’s not an isolated issue.

“For instance, in West Kelowna, 83 per cent of… single-mother renter households are spending over that affordability benchmark, and 54 per cent are spending over half their income,” Brian Clifford, a policy manager at the association, explains.

With federal party leaders on the campaign trail ahead of the October election, Clifford is calling on them to bolster the National Housing Strategy.

“Much of the funding under the National Housing Strategy was back loaded for after this election, and it doesn’t go far enough to address the needs that we identify in the province,” he explains.

According to the Canadian Rental Housing Index, 11 of the ridings with the “worst affordability challenges” are in Ontario; the Willowdale riding in Toronto takes the lead with the “highest proportion of renter households dealing with a crisis level of spending on rent.”

The data was compiled using information from the 2016 long-form census, and looks at affordability related to rental housing as well as overcrowding among various demographic groups across Canada.