From owner-labor-l@YORKU.CA Sun Jan 20 02:00:06 2002
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2002 01:05:19 -0500
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Groucho Marx <grok@SPRINT.CA>
Subject: Fwd: Canada lacks housing: Christian Science Monitor, Jan 14, 2002

An Affordable Housing Crisis in Canada's Cities

CBC TV, [2002]

A study published in August 2001 outlines some the reasons behind the homeless crisis in Canada's urban centres.

According to research by the Centre for Urban and Community Studies at the University of Toronto there is a lack of affordable housing in urban centres. The study showed that 40% of Canadian families live in rental accommodation. Almost half of all renters live in the largest metropolitan areas of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Very little rental housing has been built since the early 1970's. Rent controls, municipal regulations and taxes have made building new rental accommodation unattractive to the private sector.

There is a widening gap between the income of homeowners and renters. In the 1960's this gap was relatively small—about 20%—but has grown by 1% a year. In 1984, homeowners had almost double the income of renters and by 1999 that gap increased to more than double. The study also found that homeowners' wealth increased from 29 times that of renters in 1984 to 70 times that of renters in 1999.

The growing gap between the incomes and wealth of owners and renters means that it is becoming increasingly difficult for renters to find housing. Families are the faster growing group of homeless mainly because of the lack of affordable housing. The study notes that this trend is likely to continue unless more low income housing becomes available.

Since the construction of new rental housing is not profitable, the study concludes that the government must intervene.