Toronto: defines “affordable” units as those at or below average market rent. In 2018, the average market rent for a one-bedroom was $1,202 a month and $1,426 for a two-bedroom unit.
Ontario: 30% of gross income for low and moderate income households; or 2) a unit for which the rent is at or below the average market rent of a unit in the regional market area.
Canada: CMHC shelter costs that equate to less than 30 per cent of a household’s gross income.
ACORN: Affordable for Who?
Download the ACORN report (//acorncanada.org/resource/affordable-who-redefining-affordable-housing-toronto)
Truly affordable rent would be based on income and ability to pay so that low and moderate income households have housing that is less than 30% of income. For example, if rent was set at 30% of income a single person on ODSP ($13,800) would have rent of $350. A single full-time minimum wage worker at $14/hour ($28,000) rent would have rent of $700. This is far below market rate. Affordable housing needs to recognize this fact. And low and moderate income people need to have housing!
Mayor Tory acknowledged that things are changing: “The definition of affordability depends who you’re asking,” Tory acknowledged Tuesday. “As Toronto gets more expensive, it may be that we have to take a look at that.”
* A city analysis concludes that, at average market rent, a household would need to earn just over $52,000 before tax to keep its housing cost to 30 per cent of income, which is a well-established principle.
BOTTOM LINE: Affordable rent definitions matter. If it is impossible to afford adequate housing, will health suffer?