Introduction to Housing and Shelter

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The availability of affordable, safe and appropriate housing and shelter in a community has an impact on creating a healthy community and on the well being of its citizens. It is important to have a place to call home where you build a collective history with others. It is also important to have a familiar and safe place to call home that you can leave and return to each day to rest.

 

What we are doing well …

A variety of housing is available in the Niagara Region and across the 12 municipalities and new housing starts are up. A part of Niagara’s population earn a decent wage and own their own homes, although it is taking a higher income or two incomes often to afford to purchase a home in Niagara.

 

Where we can improve …

A high percentage of Niagara residents spend over 30% of their income on housing and shelter and that leaves little for the other necessities of living. The costs of utilities have risen and this adds an extra financial burden, especially on those living on low income. A disproportionately high number of residents are on waiting lists for affordable housing, more than other cities in Ontario, and the time of waiting is often for years, which means that many are struggling or living in cheaper, substandard housing or having little money for food. Once again, the gap between the rich and the poor is evident, even in the area of housing. An increasing number are experiencing temporary times of homelessness or use of shelters as a result. Many working poor are struggling to make ends meet and to pay for housing costs.

 


Overall score: Level 3. Progress is being made.

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