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Not Everyone Can Afford To Live in Collingwood

Posted by Sherry Rioux on January 20, 2011
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Not just Collingwood, but perhaps, anywhere in the country.
Did you know that that approximately 18% of Canadians live in housing they cannot afford or in substandard accommodation?  It’s a disheartening statistic and even more so when you consider that many of these people are seniors, people with disabilities or people leaving abusive situations.  Most of all, many are children.

In the second presentation of the local “No Place Like Home” Speaker Series, local housing advocate, Dawn Myers discusses the issue in greater depth.  She points out that Canada still lacks a national housing strategy.  In Ontario, rent controls and the Residential Tenancies Act are strong disincentives for private investors to become landlords.

While we rarely witness the open poverty we see in larger city centres, here in the Collingwood area we too have people who are homeless, living in cars and living in substandard housing.  We have families who are hungry.  It’s true that Collingwood is home to many people who are, shall we say, privileged.  It’s also true that we’ve lost many of our traditional manufacturing jobs and service industry wages are becoming the norm for our working class.  Many people working full-time have earnings of about $1800.00 a month and from that, have to pay rent, feed a child or two, pay for transportation, insurance, dental, clothing and food.

In her presentation, Dawn ends with some suggestions that mirror exactly the ones suggested in my own presentation including intensification of accessory units and land banking for future needs.  Here is a video of Dawn’s talk.

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