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Tenants' group calls for action on unaffordable rents

Last Updated May 23, 2018 at 7:19 am EDT

A new report by a tenants’ advocacy group says almost half of Ontario renters are paying rents above what they can afford.

The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario says more than 700,000 renter households in the province spend more than 30 per cent of their household incomes on rent, to live in a limited supply of units.

“Ninety-plus per cent of the housing that’s been built since 1991 has been ownership housing,” said Kenn Hale, director of advocacy & legal services, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario. “We’ve kind of given up on the rental market.”

Hale points to rent controls, which protect tenants who stay in the same unit, but do not hold rents down for a new tenant moving in.

ACTO calls on the province to cost-match the federal National Housing Strategy funds, and to encourage the building of more affordable purpose-built rental housing — both in the private sector as well as in co-ops and non-profit affordable housing.

The group purposely issued this report during Ontario’s election campaign.