Submitted by Marina Hodgson

Housing is not an issue relegated to those who are living on the streets of Toronto or staying in the local shelter. Many residents face ongoing threats of eviction or homelessness due to unstable or poor employment, illness or mounting costs associated with utilities. In our riding, 50 percent of renters are spending more than the suggested 30 percent maximum of their income on housing, compared to 46 percent provincially. In addition, the median income is more than $8,000 below the Provincial median.

According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, approximately one in three Canadian households rent their home. However, between 2011 and 2016, the number of rental units with rent levels below $750/month declined by almost 400,000 (Pomeroy and Lampert, 2017) and the increase in home prices and rent in many communities has vastly outpaced income growth in the last decade. That means more Canadians face housing affordability pressures. While the housing vacancy rate was 2.4 percent, 0.6 percent below what is considered balanced in Canada, in our riding it is less than 1 percent for 1 bedroom units.

Knowing all of these facts, the Access to Permanent Housing Committee hopes that you will review the parties’ housing platforms and ask the candidates to answer the following:

“If you are elected, how will you and your party support municipalities to:

  • Construct and repair social/affordable housing

  • Replace rent subsidies for low-income households in social housing that were slated to expire, and

  • Increase investments to address homelessness at the local level?”

Established in the 1980’s the Access to Permanent Housing Committee is comprised of agency representatives and community members with an interest in ensuring affordable and equitable housing across the City of Kawartha Lakes. The committee has also assumed leadership for housing advocacy in both the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County with the Poverty Reduction Roundtable.

PoliticsDeb Crossen