(Black Press Media files)

Almost half of B.C. renters spend more than 30% of income on housing

That’s according to latest Canadian Rental Housing Index data from 2016 Statistics Canada census

Almost half of B.C. renters are spending more than the recommended 30 per cent of their income on housing.

That’s despite B.C. residents earning roughly $5,000 more in average yearly income than the rest of Canada, according to the latest numbers on the nation’s rental housing index, released Tuesday by the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association.

The information comes from the 2018 Canadian Rental Housing Index, a database of rental housing statistics based on the latest census data from Statistics Canada.

“Traditionally, spending 30 per cent or less of household income on rent has been viewed as the benchmark of what is considered affordable,” Jill Atkey, the association’s acting CEO said in a news release.

With B.C.’s average annual income sitting at $58,698, the data say 43 per cent of the province’s 590,000 renters are spending the 30-per-cent benchmark on rent and utilities per year – about $17,500. A further 21 per cent are shelling out more than 50 per cent.

“This marks the first time in a generation that the rate of Canadian renters has outpaced the number of Canadians buying a home, and speaks to the need to increase the supply of affordable housing,” said Jeff Morrison, executive director of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association.

The only province to see more of a rental squeeze is Ontario, where 46 per cent of renters are spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent and utilities. There, the average income is closer to the nation’s average at $53,691 per year.

B.C. renters balance income, rental rate, overcrowding

The high rent in B.C. is forcing 10 per cent of renters to live in overcrowded conditions, the data shows – calculated by the number of residents in one dwelling with considerations of their age and gender.

“With escalating prices keeping many Canadians from affording home ownership, as well as a lack of affordable rental housing supply, more people are entering the rental market or staying in the rental market longer,” Morrison said.

Within B.C., Vancouverites – to no surprise – are spending the most on rent and utilities, with the average monthly rent of $1,295 – about $150 more per month than the provincial average.

They may earn more – about $65,549 per year on average – but they are also spending 24 per cent of their income on rent, one percentage point more than the average.

That still leaves 44 per cent of renters shelling out more than 30 per cent of their income on rent.

In the Fraser Valley, where the average rent is $975 a month, 42 per cent of renters are spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent and utilities. But in Abbotsford, 12 per cent are living in overcrowded conditions.

Then there are the cities where income isn’t keeping up to rent, causing more residents to spend a greater portion of their income on it.

In Victoria, the average monthly rent is about $1,053. But the average salary is $7,000 less than the provincial average, 46 per cent are putting than 30 per cent of their income towards housing. A further 22 per cent are spending more than 50 per cent of their earnings on rent.

In the Okanagan, where there’s no shortage of larger rental units, only five per cent of renters are dealing with overcrowded conditions. However, 47 per cent of renters still pay more than the 30-per-cent benchmark.

The average renter there spends 25 per cent of their yearly income on rent and utilities.

B.C.’s north and the Kootenays could be the “promised land.”

Rent and utilities in the Cariboo costs about $782 per month on average. More than half of its renters spend less than the benchmark of their income on housing.

In the Kitimat-Stikine region, renters are spending about 18 per cent of their income on rent, which is an average of $919 per month.

Meanwhile, the Bulkley-Nechako region holds the most ideal condition: $811 per month, with 59 per cent of renters spending less than 30 per cent of their income on rent, and earning $1,000 more per year than the provincial average.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nathan Cullen named Parliamentarian of the Year

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP won the top-title Nov. 5

VIDEO: Taking to the skies to protect moose in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Conservation Officer Service doubles patrols to oversee moose harvest

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read