Imagine for a moment, having to choose between paying rent or buying groceries. The hard truth, is that far too many in our community struggle with this reality every month.
Unaffordable housing places significant stress on low-income Halton residents. Over 12,000 Halton Region residents — or 4.7 per cent — are of working poor households, trying to get ahead working multiple part-time jobs.
When monthly housing costs exceed 30 per cent of the total household income, this becomes increasingly difficult to afford other expenses. Residents have to make tough choices and skimp on necessities like food and transportation. Furthermore, individuals may even be forced to uproot themselves or their families and move to somewhere with more affordable housing.
This makes it even more important to look at poverty, mobility, and social services at a regional level, because a tight rental market in Halton can directly impact Hamilton. What appear to be low poverty rates in one city, can be hiding a different story about displacement, opportunity, and uprooted families struggling to stay in the community they call home.
In Halton, housing costs are continuing to skyrocket, while vacancy rates continue to fall. Vacancy rates in a healthy rental market are a minimum of three per cent. Community Development Halton reports that Halton’s vacancy rate is 1.3 per cent and it has been below three per cent for over a decade.