Wait lists for affordable housing continue to grow

Waiting lists for affordable housing in Ontario surged to more than 152,000 households in January, despite modest economic growth in the province, according to a report to be released Monday.

This year’s increase is a 7.4 per cent jump over last year and almost 18 per cent more than in 2009 when 129,000 families were waiting, says the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association in its 2011 waiting list survey, obtained by the Star.

Of the 10,000 new households who joined the line last year, more than 6,000 were in Toronto where a total of 66,197 households are waiting, says the report.

“Despite discussion of economic recovery, it is clear that many households are struggling to find a stable home they can afford,” said Sharad Kerur, executive director of the association that has been tracking waiting lists since 2004.

“While employment numbers may be improving, many Ontarians are living through an uneasy economic recovery characterized by reduced work hours, lost jobs or new jobs at lower wages,” he added.

Waiting lists swelled for all groups studied in the report, including seniors, non-senior singles and families.

But the largest percentage increase was among seniors, whose applications jumped by 10 per cent, the report says.

Publication Date: 
Ontario, Canada