Submitted by Marina Hodson, on behalf of the KNFHT and the Access to Permanent Housing Committee
Housing is not an issue relegated to those who are living on the streets of Toronto or staying in the local shelter. Many residents face ongoing threats of eviction or homelessness due to unstable or poor employment, illness or mounting costs associated with utilities. In our riding, 50% of renters are spending more than the suggested 30% maximum of their income on housing compared to 46% Provincially. Additionally, the median income is more than $8,000 below the Province.
According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, approximately one in three Canadian households rent their home, however, between 2011-2016, the number of rental units with rent levels below $750/month declined by almost 400,000 (Pomeroy and Lampert, 2017) and the increase in home prices and rent in many communities has vastly outpaced income growth in the last decade. That means more Canadians face housing affordability pressures. And whilst in Canada, the housing vacancy rate was 2.4%, 0.6% below what is considered balanced, in our riding it is less than 1% for 1 bedroom units.
Knowing all of these facts, ahead of the upcoming election we hope that you will be reviewing the parties’ housing platforms and speaking to the candidates to answer the following:
“If you are elected, how will you and your party support municipalities to:
construct and repair social/affordable housing,
replace rent subsidies for low-income households in social housing that were slated to expire, and
increase investments to address homelessness at the local level?”