According to a new Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report one needs to earn an average of $22 an hour to afford a home in places like Vancouver and Toronto. To put things in perspective, a person would need to work 112 hours a week in Vancouver to afford a modest 2-bedroom apartment.
“The rental wage across the country is $22 an hour for a two-bedroom or $20 an hour for a one-bedroom,” report author and economist David Macdonald said Wednesday.
“But it’s much more in big cities like Vancouver and Toronto.”
The report calculates rental wages by breaking down the hourly wage that full-time minimum wage workers would need to earn in order to afford rent for an average one- or two-bedroom apartment without spending more than 30 per cent of their earnings.
Minimum wage workers in Vancouver would need to make the highest rental wage — $35.43 an hour — to afford a two-bedroom apartment. In Toronto, that is pegged at $33.70 an hour. The report covers 795 neighbourhoods across Canada and finds that 31 of the 36 Canadian cities included in the report don’t have a single neighbourhood where a minimum wage earner could afford a two-bedroom apartment.
The report uses rental data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
According to the report, increasing housing costs impact one-third of all Canadians. And since minimum wages across provinces are less than the rental wages in the report, more minimum wage earners are spending 30 per cent or more of their income on housing. The report’s findings can be explored province by province here.
In Toronto as things stand, a $14 an hour, would require a minimum-wage workers to put in 79 hours for a one-bedroom apartment or 96 hours for a two-bedroom unit.
In Calgary a minimum wage of $15 an hour means workers would need 72 hours in a week to rent a two-bedroom or 56 hours a week for a one-bedroom apartment.
The bottom line is that a huge portion of the Canadian population is in risk of becoming house poor or too poor to afford to buy a home, leave alone rent one without compromising their quality of life. -CINEWS