Housing report

United Way report shows housing costs exceed wages in Huron-Perth

A new report on the future of housing by the United Way Perth-Huron Social Planning and Research Council highlights the potential impacts of housing cost increases that continue to outpace wage increases in the counties of Perth and Huron.

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A report released this week by the United Way Perth-Huron Research and Social Planning Council shows that housing cost increases continue to outpace wage increases in Perth-Huron, an issue that could have a significant impact on the local workforce and the region’s aging population.

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According to the council’s director of research and one of the authors of future of housing, Joelle Lamport-Lewis, the report emerged from meetings with local stakeholders who shared data from several different economic sectors.

“We brought together a number of presenters who had a voice in the area of ​​income housing, labor force or housing in particular, Lamport-Lewis said. “So we had a conversation and then we started looking at the impact on our local community and what that means.”

Through their research, Lamport-Lewis and co-author Leith Deacon found that the average price of a single-detached home in Perth-Huron over the past year had risen more than 35% to $549,000, while that the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment had risen 18% to more than $1,200 per month.

Meanwhile, the report showed the average household income in Perth County grew from around $53,300 to around $76,300 between 2016 and 2020, representing growth of just 43% over four years. Across Canada, the report showed that household incomes rose by just under 30% over the same period, while house prices rose by nearly 60%.

“Our incomes are not keeping pace with the rising cost of living, which makes our rents unaffordable. This makes our basic needs unaffordable. … In addition to that, we looked at our workforce and what was happening in the Perth-Huron area. We see more and more precarious jobs. We see the inability, with automation, to move into higher paying positions and things like that,” Lamport-Lewis said.

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Since many residents of Perth and Huron counties cannot afford to buy a single-detached home at this average price when more accessible or affordable housing options are harder to come by, Lamport-Lewis said the local employers find it harder to attract and retain workers. Region.

Without this workforce, she said the area could become less attractive to new industries and businesses, potentially causing area municipalities to lose much-needed tax revenue to support health and social services for the population. large and growing number of older Perth-Huron residents Need 65+.

With so much at stake, the authors of Future of housing report included a number of recommendations and solutions with their conclusions.

“There are plenty of opportunities for living wage employers to step into the ring. We are looking at education and awareness around some sort of shifting housing merit. We need all types of housing, not just single-family homes. We also maybe need to use the non-profit housing corporation because it’s focused on affordable and accessible housing (and) we really need to look at workforce retention strategies,” Lamport said. Lewis.

As well as providing municipalities across the region with the information they need to address the housing crisis locally, Lamport-Lewis said she hopes the report will serve to educate the general public about the need for all housing styles in their communities.

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“We sometimes get caught up in an individual housing estate that may not look like our current community,” she said. “We really need to focus on where our communities are going. It’s really about looking at our community as a whole rather than individual developments.

“The way we used to think of some of this (multi-residential) development is really not the narrative today. We kind of need to figure out what it actually means in our community versus what it means in my backyard.

Lamport-Lewis said there is a common stigma around high-density residential developments rented to low-income families and individuals, but, in many cases, this style of housing is perfect for older people looking to downsizing or young people looking to relocate. field to start their career.

“It’s just about having the choice (of more availability) of different types of accommodation, and for the public, that would be great,” Lamport-Lewis said.

Read Future of housing in its entirety, visit perthhuron.unitedway.ca/research.

gsimmons@postmedia.com

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