FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK (Sept. 10, 2015) — A perfect storm is brewing for a Canadian housing crisis, and the new Canadian Rental Housing Index breaks down the numbers.
The release of the Canadian Rental Housing Index comes at a time when federal funding for social housing is ending, rents are climbing, wait lists are growing, and the market is failing to provide an adequate supply of affordable rental housing for low and moderate income Canadians.
The results come from the Canadian Rental Housing Index, a new interactive map developed using census data provided by Statistics Canada. The Index is the first of its kind, examining issues of income, affordability and overcrowding in over a thousand cities and regions across all of Canada’s provinces and territories.
The database shows nearly one quarter of renter households in Canada are spending more than 50 per cent of their gross income on rent, putting them at a crisis level of spending. The Canadian Rental Housing Index ranks and scores over a thousand communities and regions across Canada, including 523 municipalities and 338 electoral districts. 137 of these geographies are in Atlantic Canada.
· Nova Scotia is ranked 11th out of 13 provinces and territories, and the rental housing situation is in severe condition, with 43% of renters spending more than 30% on rent, and 20% of renters spending more than 50% on rent.
· In Newfoundland and Labrador, 39% of renters are spending more than 30% of their income on rent, and 18% are spending more than 50% on rent.
· In New Brunswick, 38% of renters pay more than 30% of their income on rent. 16% of renters are spending more than 50%.
· In PEI, 36% of renters are paying more than 30% on their rent, and 16% of renters are paying more than 50% on rent.
“The number one pocketbook issue for Canadians is housing affordability, and that pocketbook is getting squeezed. The situation for those most in need is particularly dire, and is compounded by the lack of federal action on rental housing. We’ll likely see the problem get worse before it gets better,” says Tony Roy, Chief Executive Officer of BC Non-Profit Housing Association.
NOT JUST A BIG CITY ISSUE
The Index also reveals that affordable rental housing is not just a big city issue—many renter households in smaller municipalities across Canada are financially struggling.
In the 523 communities analyzed on the index, 10 New Brunswick communities scored in the bottom half of the Rental Housing Index. Communities like Rothesay (491st), Fredericton (406th), St. Stephen (395th) and Grand Falls (388th) all show severe and critical housing conditions.
"The lack of decent, safe, affordable housing is holding many Atlantic Canadian households back from fully participating in their community and our region’s economy,” says Tim Ross, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Non Profit Housing Association. “Finding and keeping a good job, completing an education, and raising a family all start with a safe, affordable place to call home.”
The overall findings from the Index underscore the greater need for more funding of affordable rental housing developments by all levels of government across the country. This is the first time that substantial data regarding the state of rental housing in Canada has been collected and housed for public use in one, easily accessible place. The Canadian Rental Housing Index will provide housing planners, non-profit housing developers and all levels of government with easy to access, customized data and other critical information needed to plan for future housing needs in this country.
To learn more about the Index, please visit www.rentalhousingindex.ca
ABOUT THE PARTNERSHIP
The Canadian Rental Housing Index was developed by BC Non-Profit Housing Association and Vancity credit union, in partnership with Ontario Non-profit Housing Association, Alberta Network of Public Housing Agencies, LandlordBC, New Brunswick Non-Profit Housing Association, Credit Unions of New Brunswick, Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition and Réseau québécois des OSBL d'habitation.
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For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Executive Director, NBNPHA
506 261 1292