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Study says rents in most cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners

OTTAWA — A new analysis of the country’s rental market suggests a minimum-wage worker could afford to rent in just a few neighbourhoods nationwide, and raises questions about a promised federal rent supplement.

The report being released today from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says someone earning minimum wage would only be able to afford a one-bedroom rental in nine per cent of 795 neighbourhoods in Canadian cities in the study.

The figure drops to three per cent of neighbourhoods when looking at the affordability of two-bedroom units.

The federal Liberals’ decade-long national housing strategy includes programs to build more rental housing, hoping a boost in supply will drive down costs.

At the same time, negotiations with provinces are winding along on the design of a new rent supplement for low-income tenants that will average about $2,500 a year.

Study author David Macdonald says the benefit could provide some short-term help while the country awaits new rental units, but may not be enough for low-income renters to close the affordability gap.

The Canadian Press

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