Renters’ paycheques being stretched to the limit

A growing number of renters in Kelowna are spending in the crisis level

Half of renters in Kelowna are spending over the recommended 30 per cent of their income on housing, putting a growing number of residents at a crisis level of spending.

Information comes from a comprehensive database; the 2018 Rental Housing Index composed of rental housing statistics released by a national partnership of housing associations, credit unions and municipal associations developed by using census data by Statistics Canada.

Related: Revised Kelowna rental project approved

“Traditionally, spending 30 per cent or less of household income on rent has been viewed as the benchmark of what is considered affordable,” Jill Atkey, acting CEO of the BC Non-Profit Housing association said, in a press release. “However, the data shows that spending more than 30 per cent of income on housing has become the new normal for individuals and families in almost all areas of Canada.”

The database also concludes that 21 per cent of Kelowna residents spend half of their income on rent and utilities.

Related:Renters struggle to find homes as prices climb, availability declines

“With escalating prices keeping many Canadians from affording home ownership, as well as a lack of affordable rental housing supply, more people are entering the rental market or staying in the rental market longer,”Jeff Morrison, executive director of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association said.

“This marks the first time in a generation that the rate of Canadian renters has outpaced the number of Canadians buying a home, and speaks to the need to increase the supply of affordable housing.”

The database paints a similar picture for West Kelowna, half of renters are spending over 30 per cent of their income on rent and utilities, however 18 per cent are spending half of their income on housing.

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