More British Columbian renters than any other province in Canada spend half of their income on housing

According to a recent study, more British Columbian renters than any other province in Canada spend more than half their monthly income on rent and utilities.According to the Canadian Rental Housing Index, which was issued on Monday, 16% of renter households in British Columbia fell into that category, compared to 15% in Ontario, 13% in Nova Scotia and Manitoba, and 11% in Alberta.

With 38 percent, British Columbia has the second-highest percentage of renter households in the nation who spend 30% or more of their income on rent and utilities, according to the index, which was updated for the first time since 2018 using data from the 2021 census.

The index defines a “crisis level” of expenditure as paying more than 50% of one’s salary on rent.

In almost all data points, British Columbia remains one of the most expensive provinces in Canada to be a renter, according to a news release on the index on Monday.

Renters in British Columbia are less able to put money away for emergencies and are more likely to become homeless if they are kicked out. British Columbia has had the most increase in average rent since the previous census.

The index discovered that, as of 2021, 11% of renter households in British Columbia were also residing in “overcrowded conditions,” a 21% rise from 2016. The worst-affected area was Surrey, where the problem was 24%, followed by Burnaby and Delta, where it was 16%, and Whistler, where it was 15%.

The typical nationwide percentage was 10%. There was 13% in Ontario.

According to reports, 7% of renters in British Columbia—the national average—live in homes that require significant repairs.

However, the average monthly rent and utility bill for British Columbians is higher: $1,492 against $1,208 nationally.

The average monthly price in Vancouver is $1,658. It comes to an average of $1,560 in Toronto.

According to the report, Ontario and British Columbia have the most difficult housing markets for young people, with 46% and 44% of young people respectively paying more than 30% of their monthly income on utilities and rent.

According to Jill Atkey, CEO of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, “The federal government used to spend very extensively in non-profit and cooperative housing to the extent where at the peak years of those programs, one in every five homes in this country was a non-profit or co-op home, and that plummeted to zero in 1993. Therefore, they are starting to revive that, but we need to see much more of it. Premier David Eby of British Columbia visited Burnaby on Monday to announce funding for 1,500 new rental units, with the province contributing $250 million to ten different projects. Mayor of Burnaby Mike Hurley stated that the city has concentrated on permitting more non-market renting but acknowledged that there is still work to be done.

He claimed that there had been 30 years of inaction about rental homes, particularly those that were affordable. And now everyone is trying to catch up.

The B.C. government unveiled a multibillion-dollar, four-point housing strategy in April with the intention of reining in real estate price inflation, boosting building, and expanding the number of rental homes.
The ‘Homes for People’ project includes the promise of legislation allowing up to four units on a single traditional housing lot, a tax on the proceeds of house flipping, and a forgivable loan of 50% of the cost of basement suite renovations, up to a maximum of $40,000 over five years, if the secondary suites are rented at below-market rate for at least five years.

With the intention of utilizing the private sector, it also includes steps to expedite permitting and lower development costs.

The proposal is anticipated to cost $12 billion over ten years and $4 billion in the first three years of implementation.


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