Almost 3 million households paying more than they can afford for housing

    OTTAWA, Jan. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Almost one-quarter of Canadian households
- more than 2,700,000 households - are paying too much of their income to keep
a roof over their heads. And calculations done by the Canadian Council on
Social Development (CCSD) show that it is families who rent that are the most
likely to have to pay a disproportionate amount of their household income for
shelter - almost 40% of all tenant households.
    "This creates a financial tightrope that is especially tough on families,
particularly in the post-holiday season," says CCSD President Peter Bleyer.
"Everyone from bankers to financial planners to housing experts agree that 30%
of your income is the most you should have to pay for a safe and healthy place
to live. Yet it is a near-impossible goal for many Canadians - even those who
work full-time."
    The report was released at a CCSD-sponsored meeting of community
planners. It indicates that provincially, nearly 45% of renters in British
Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland paid more than one-third of their
income on shelter costs.
    Regionally, the largest proportion of households paying more than
one-third of their income on rent lived in Cape Breton, Kingston, and Thunder
Bay. Nearly half the renters in both Victoria and Peterborough faced similar
    And although Quebec had the highest proportion of renters, tenant
households in the province were the least likely to have to pay more than 30%
of their income on rent.
    Data from the Urban Poverty Project also show that in 2000, more than 13%
of Canadian families lived at or below the poverty line. According to the
Census, 16% of families in Newfoundland were poor - the highest percentage in
the country. The lowest proportion of poor families lived in Prince Edward
Island and Alberta.
    "There's no question that urban poverty is a core reality in Canada,"
says Bleyer. "Not only are 38% of all unattached Canadians poor, they are
living in urban areas where their chances of finding a decent and affordable
place to live have been compromised. Canada has failed to develop a national
vision that supports community solutions."
    As part of the CCSD's Urban Poverty Project, Community Profiles presents
national and provincial data about population, households, and employment. The
document then "drills down" to provide equivalent information at the community
level. This report is the first of a series of products examining trends in
poverty across Canada using data and analyses from the 2001 Census.

    Note to Editors:

    The CCSD works in partnership on these issues with numerous organizations
across the country and has contact information for knowledgeable spokespeople
at the community level, including contacts in Greater Vancouver, Victoria,
Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Kingston, Halton, and Saint John.

For further information:

For further information: Nancy Perkins at the CCSD, (613) 236-5868, ext.

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