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Rental Affordability Index & the Election

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Rental Affordability Index & the Election

Election promises have housing top-of-mind with most candidates in Canada. But while most of the focus seems to be on first-time home ownership and the costs associated with owning, there is a growing crisis of leadership in the rental sector as well. 

For the rental sector, how are prices trending? What does the affordability index look like? Unfortunately - the news isn't good.

Canada's Rental Housing Index uses a province's average income. It splits income levels into 4 equal quarters, and then analyzes that income level against the average cost for a studio, 1-bed, 2-bed, 3-bed apartment all across the country.

This is the affordability index. "Affordable" is deemed to be rental payments that are under 30% of a total household income.

With this calculation, you can see that the 2 tiers of lowest income earners are facing "Severely Unaffordable" (50%+ of their income goes to rent) and "Unaffordable" (30-49% of their income goes to rent) respectively.

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And what gets really troubling is the Income Gap analysis - the additional income an average Canadian household would need (per year) to make their current rent affordable. In some provinces, (BC we're looking at you) households in those lower 2 tiers of income would need to DOUBLE their income or more to achieve 'affordability'. 

Another powerful tool and analysis the Rental Housing Index uses is the Community Profile tool.

Using BC (entire province) and North Vancouver (a subset of the province) as an example, we see the number of households spending over 30% of their income on rent, and the number of households spending over 50% of their income on rent.

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Again, not a great story. 

So what can we do? Make sure your elected official understands the importance of affordable housing, and that their federal platform doesn't overlook the rental sector. ❤️

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