Tighter rental markets are driving up rents and keeping Ontario families
TORONTO, June 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Lower homeownership rates are poised to
create additional pressure on already strained rental housing markets,
says a new report released today.
The 2013 edition of Where's Home?, released by the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) and the
Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, Ontario Region (CHF-Canada,
Ontario Region), highlights the increased pressure that households
unable to purchase a home will place on rental housing markets.
According to the report, the rate of construction of purpose-built
rental housing collapsed to a 60-year low in the mid-1990s and has not
recovered. The rental housing market will now face further strain, with
demand anticipated to increase by an additional 15,000 to 20,000
households per year.
A growing crisis
"These factors will make Ontario's current affordable housing crisis
worse," says Sharad Kerur, Executive Director, ONPHA. "Growing
competition for limited rental units will drive up rents, making it
even harder for low and moderate income Ontarians to afford a roof
Where's Home? highlights the challenges facing many low income Ontarians. The boom in
household income between 1996 and the 2008-10 recession was not spread
evenly and left low and moderate income Ontarians even further behind.
From 2002 to 2009, it became even harder for low income Ontarians to
afford safe, adequate housing.
More low income Ontarians face housing struggles
According to the report, 20 per cent of Ontario households pay more than
30 per cent of their income on rent, or live in homes that are too
small or in need of repair. They also live in these circumstances much
longer than Canadians in other provinces.
"The choices that Ontarians are making to afford their housing will have
lasting impacts on our province," says Harvey Cooper, Manager of
Government Relations at CHF-Canada, Ontario Region. "Those choices
impact our competitiveness and the prosperity of our province, drive up
health care costs, and lower the returns on investment we've made in
health and education."
Government support needed to create more dedicated affordable rental
To afford housing that's the right size and in good repair, the average
low income Ontario household needs an additional $290 per month (up
from $240 per month in 2002). "An investment of $3,500 to $4,000 per
year would translate into big savings for the provincial and federal
governments," says Kerur. "It's an investment in the future of Ontario
that makes sense."
Despite unprecedented residential construction activity since 1996, the
construction of purpose-built rental housing during the same period has
been minimal. The majority of new purpose-built rental housing has been
in niche, higher-end markets. Investor-owned condominiums are another
source of new rental housing. These units, and the households living in
them are vulnerable to trends in the resale condominium market and
these homes are particularly unsuitable for families. Recent federal
and provincial government programs have added about 1,500 affordable
rental units per year since 2003.
"Swelling demand for rental housing on top of the more than 156,000
households on social housing waiting lists means that the provincial
and federal governments can no longer depend on the private market to
build new, affordable rental housing," says Cooper. "Ontario lost
86,000 rental units between 1996 and 2006. All Ontarians need robust,
dedicated programs that will enable the non-profit, co-operative, and
private markets to build the homes that our province needs for its
economy to grow."
Where's Home? Looking back and looking forward at the need for
affordable housing in Ontario can be found at www.onpha.on.ca/whereshome or www.chfc.ca.
For more than 20 years, the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association
(ONPHA) has been the voice of non-profit housing in Ontario. Our 770
member organizations operate more than 163,000 non‐profit housing units
in over 220 communities in Ontario. They provide affordable homes to a
diverse range of tenants, including: seniors; low‐income families with
children; Aboriginal people; the working poor; victims of violence and
abuse; people living with developmental disabilities, mental illness,
addictions and HIV/AIDS; and the formerly homeless/hard‐to‐house.
CHF Canada's Ontario Region represents and serves over 500 housing
co-ops in the province, home to some 125,000 Ontarians. Co-operative
housing has a solid track record of over four decades of building and
providing safe, secure, affordable housing in member-owned communities.
SOURCE: Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA)
For further information:
Executive Director, ONPHA
416-927-9144 ext. 102 (office)
Manager of Government Relations
CHF Canada, Ontario Region
416-366-1711 ext. 237 (office)