One in four Canadians rely on subsidies or spend over 30 per cent of their pre-tax income on housing costs, including mortgages and rent, according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada.
According to the report, a household is unaffordable if more than 30 per cent of its pre-tax income is spent on household costs - a situation that more than three million Canadians find themselves in. The typical household spends 50 per cent more on shelter than on food and over five times more on shelter than on clothing.
"The quality and cost of housing are major factors in the health of Canadians," said Diana Mackay, conference board director of education and health. "However, about one-fifth of Canadian households do not have the resources to afford both good-quality homes and other health-enhancing expenditures, such as nutritious food or access to recreational activities."
The report warned that the high number of Canadians stretched too thin negatively affects their health, productivity, and national competitiveness, and increases the cost of health-care and welfare.