It seems like everyone is obsessed with BUYING a house these days but did you know there are over 4 million renters in Canada? That’s about 30 per cent of all the households in Canada.  It’s true and they spend almost a third of their income on rent, above the level that experts say is sustainable.

These stats are part of a Rental Housing Index that is gleaned from 2011 Statistics Canada data and it looks like renters are feeling the pinch of high prices in the housing market every bit as much as buyers.

Big City Blues


The problem is especially apparent in some of Canada’s biggest cities. In Toronto,  the numbers show that here are 105,215 rental households that spend more than half of their total income on rent. That’s more than one out of every five renters in the city.

The ratio is based on gross income, which means the amount of money being spent on housing costs is actually even higher when one considers after-tax income.

In Vancouver, 136,025 households spend almost a third of their income on rent, and almost a quarter of the city’s renters spend half their money on rent.

Even in Montreal where close to 60 per cent of the city’s residents are renters, one out of every five — or 108,875 in total — are spending half of their income on rent…even though rent here is considered “cheaper” for a large city.


Nationally, 40 per cent of renters spend almost a third of their income on rent, and almost one in five spent half their money on it.  Affordable housing experts say a ratio that high puts them at high risk of becoming homeless.

Housing experts also say there is a lot of money being spent  on social housing spaces in certain places (Ottawa spent $1.7 billion on social housing this year), but it is about spending money wisely that needs to be focused on.  Experts note that many social housing spaces get built and then fall into disrepair and ultimately they still don’t solve the problem of rental affordability.

The issue has come up on the campaign trail but the issue remains unchanged for now and likely to deteriorate as the price of renting just keeps getting further out of reach for many.

What do you think? Are you a renter that has been feeling the pinch?

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SOURCE: Statistics Canada, Rental Housing Index, CBC




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