Calgary rent prices harm lowest-earning workers the most

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Calgary’s rental sector is the most expensive market for the country’s low-income earners, according to the head researcher of a recent study from the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy.

Professor of Economics Ron Kneebone, lead author of the new analysis The Very Poor and the Affordability of Housing, noted that while Vancouver and Toronto’s eye-popping costs might lead one to conclude that these cities are basically unlivable, Calgary actually outstrips these cities in terms of accessibility to the lowest-earning workers—by a significant margin.

“A lone parent in Calgary would need to be spending 70 per cent of their income on rent for a low-quality one-bedroom apartment,” Kneebone stated, as quoted by CBC News. “If you take that same person in Montreal, than they're spending less than half that amount on rent.”

“Vancouver has relatively more rental accommodations than Calgary does … There's no place to live in Calgary and as a result the price of low-end housing is really expensive,” he added.

The academic noted, however, that the main point of these findings is that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution that can be employed to address the crisis.

“One of the things we wanted to stress with this study is there is no national housing issue. There are housing issues in particular cities,” Kneebone stressed. “What I'm afraid of the government doing is saying there is one solution that will fit every city. And our point is that there isn't.”

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