2006 Census Data shows more Canadians struggle to pay for housing

    OTTAWA, June 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The new 2006 census data released today on
homeownership and shelter costs shows that the number of Canadians paying
30 per cent or more of their household income on shelter has increased. Many
of these are homeowners, but 1.5 million renters pay 30% or more of their
income on housing. Statistics Canada's newly released figures show this
percentage has risen since the last census in 2001, the Co-operative Housing
Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) said today.
    "The increase in the percentage of Canadians paying more than they can
afford for housing is a clear indicator that housing conditions for low-income
Canadians will not improve until there is a cohesive national plan of action,"
said Nicholas Gazzard, Executive Director. "Today's census figures paint a
picture of the failure to provide affordable housing to thousands of Canadians
across the country," said Gazzard.
    "Things have grown worse, not better since the 2001 census despite years
of economic growth in Canada"
    The new data reveals that several segments of the population are
struggling to pay for housing. In 2006, 40.3 per cent of all renter households
were paying more than 30% of their income on rent. More than half of all
renters living alone pay more than 30% of their income on housing. This figure
has increased since 2001, from 50.1 to 51.6 %. The report also shows that
immigrant households faced higher increases in shelter costs than the
Canadian-born population, but lower increases in income.
    "Today's newly released data indicates that lower-income Canadians are
struggling more than ever to pay for their housing. Ottawa needs to take a
leadership role in developing a national affordable action plan, in
consultation with the provinces, territories, municipalities and major housing
stakeholder groups, said Gazzard. "The Conservative government has been in
power for nearly two and a half years, and the number of Canadians paying more
than they can afford on housing has increased. A positive first step would be
for the federal government to provide some predictability for affordable
housing providers, such as non-profit housing co-operatives, and immediately
renew the major national housing programs that are set to expire on March 31,
2009, less than one-year from now."

    CHF Canada is the national voice of the Canadian co-operative housing
movement. Its members include nearly 900 non-profit housing co-operatives as
well as organizations that are closely linked with housing cooperatives.

    Link to the Statistics Canada report:

For further information:

For further information: Nicholas Gazzard, Executive Director, (613)
230-2201, ext. 230, (613) 293-8913 (cell); Merrilee Robson, Program Manager,
Communications, 1-877-533-2667, ext. 122, (604) 512-2696 (cell)

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