Renters in Ontario now constitute over 30% of the total population, and in Toronto, almost half of all households rent their home, according to a new study by the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO).
The report, titled Where Will We Live?, found that nearly half of Ontario renters pay “unaffordable housing costs.”
Over half of Ontario households between the ages 25 to 34 are renters, and according to ACTO, this trend may be due to the increasing cost of homeownership, the lack of well-paid and secure jobs, and the increasing numbers of single-person households.
Nearly half of Ontario renters can’t afford their rent. To afford rising rents people are working longer hours, taking on more than one job or commuting longer hours. #WhereWillWeLive #affordablehousing #ONpoli pic.twitter.com/PjkBCMiVRf
— Advocacy for Tenants (@TenantAdvocacy) May 23, 2018
The study also found that 71% of households with income below $20,000 are renters, compared to only 10% of households with income over $100,000.
“A significant percentage of renters across Ontario and in Toronto are facing unaffordable housing costs that limit their ability to spend money on other life necessities,” reads the report.
“Too many people are choosing to forgo a healthy diet or the medication they need just to keep a roof over their head. Many facing rising rents are being displaced from their communities and many more are commuting longer hours between home and work.”
ACTO states that renters are facing a combination of rising housing costs, stagnating incomes, and limited access to subsidized housing. It suggests that solving the affordable rental housing crisis in our province “requires long-term commitment to targeted housing policies and investments that focus on the needs of low- to moderate-income renter households.”
“We know for a fact that our affordable rental housing crisis will not be solved by building more condominiums or luxury purpose-built rentals,” states the report.
“We need a combination of targeted policies and investments including funding for social housing, government support for non-profit housing, and strong protections in place for tenants. Preserving the status-quo is no longer an option for the hundreds of thousands of renters struggling every day to keep a roof over their head.”
The GTA tops Canada’s list as an area where renters spend over 50% of their income on housing, according to the latest Canadian Rental Housing Index.
Its recent list shows 23% of renters in Toronto spend over half their household income on shelter, putting a growing number of families and individuals at a crisis level of spending and at risk of homelessness.