Affordable Housing Crisis Affects One In Five Renters In Canada

One in five Canadian renters face an affordable housing crisis, spending more than half their income on shelter costs, a problem that appears to be even more acute in suburbs and small cities than in major urban centres.

A new study by a coalition of affordable housing groups in six provinces and the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union offers one of the most exhaustive examinations of rental affordability in the country. The group’s Canadian Rental Housing Index crunched data on income and rents from Statistics Canada’s Survey of Household Spending for more than 1,000 municipalities and regions.

While the data is limited – Statistics Canada’s numbers date back to 2011 – the numbers paint a clear picture that renters have not been immune to the soaring costs of Canadian real estate.

Across the country, 40 per cent of renters spend more than 30 per cent of their household income on the cost of rent and utilities, the level at which many say housing costs become unaffordable.

About 20 per cent spent more