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Access to housing | Spend 80% of your income on housing



One-fifth of the poorest Montrealers devote more than 80% of their income to housing and almost three-quarters, more than 30%.

This is revealed in a report entitled Vital Signs of Greater Montreal on Housing published on Tuesday, on the occasion of National Housing Day, and which was produced by the Institut du Québec.

The report, commissioned by the organizations Centraide of Greater Montreal and the Foundation of Greater Montreal (FGM), sheds new light on the housing crisis affecting the metropolis thanks to unprecedented cross-referencing of data taken from the last census.

Among the findings of this report, we note that low-income Montrealers, non-permanent residents, single people and renters are the most likely to occupy unaffordable housing, that is, housing to which they must spend more than 30% of their income.


Percentage of people in households according to the effort rate, by population group, on the island of Montreal, in 2016

All his income for housing

In fact, if a quarter of the residents of the island of Montreal must devote this part of their income to housing, this proportion increases to 71% among people with low incomes. Digging even deeper, the authors came to the conclusion that 19% of the poorest people actually spend between 50 and 80% of their income and 21% more than 80%.

This proportion of people who devote almost all of their income to housing is even higher among non-permanent residents, where it amounts to approximately 29%, whereas it amounts to only 5% on average for all households of the metropolis.

A situation simply untenable in the opinion of the CEO of the Foundation of Greater Montreal, Karel Mayrand. “I don’t see how this [ménage] made for accommodation, food, clothing. Probably everyone in the family has to work, sometimes several jobs,” he says.

“And we are not talking about the quality of these accommodations,” he adds. There are people who pay 80% and live in places that are not healthy for their health. »

In Laval, 18% of low-income people spend 80% or more of their money on housing, while this proportion is 14% on the South Shore.

“Engage Everyone”

Karel Mayrand hopes that the publication of this report will serve to “mobilize everyone” in the hope of undertaking a chore to “provide affordable or social housing” to as many people as possible.

The situation is urgent, he said, as the number of newly built and available housing units in the Montreal area is at its lowest in 30 years.

“By working on the issue of housing, we find ourselves working directly and indirectly on a set of social issues. When we talk about the issue of housing, people think it’s abstract, but it’s very, very concrete,” he explains.

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