Here’s How Much of a Brampton Resident’s Income Goes to Rent

 

In a perfect world, no one would spend more than 30 per cent of their income on their house or apartment.

But that financial rule of thumb has quickly become archaic at a time when a one-bedroom apartment costs about $1,728 and an average home about $729,767.

According to the Canadian Rental Housing Index, Brampton is comprised largely of homeowners. In fact, there are 33,585 tenant household and 134,345 owner households. 

Brampton residents are also a little better off financially than Ontario in general, with the average income sitting at $58,597 in Brampton. In Ontario, the average income is $53,691. 

How much are Brampton residents spending on rent and utilities? The data indicates that, on average, 25 per cent of a household’s income is spent on rent and utilities in Brampton, which is the same average in Ontario. In Brampton, these costs typically amount to $1,225 a month. 

While that sounds promising, data shows that 20 per cent of renter households are living in crowded conditions in Brampton. In Ontario overall, only 12 per cent of rental households are living in crowded conditions. This suggests that, in a bid to save money, multiple tenants are sharing too-small quarters. 

The Canadian Rental Housing Index also confirms the city’s fears--many households are living in unaffordable homes. In Brampton, 43 per cent of households are spending over 30 per cent of their income on rent and utilities. That number is in line with the number of people who spend over 30 per cent across the province. 

Data also indicates a significant amount of households are sacrificing more on shelter costs. According to the index, 20 per cent of households are spending over 50 per cent of their income on rent and utilities. That’s slightly lower than the Ontario number, which sits at 21 per cent. 

It appears things aren’t good for renters or buyers. 

According to data recently released by the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average price of a row townhouse now sits at $625,679. Condos, the last bastion of affordable housing, cost $397,240. Condo townhouses cost about $488,711.

Everything is now above the $350,000 mark and renters are feeling the burn just as much as prospective buyers--especially since the two-bedroom units so coveted by renters now cost about $1,863 a month. 

At a time when Brampton's rental vacancy rate sits at 0.8 per cent (a healthy rental market boasts a rate of three per cent or higher), the city has a vested interest in creating and preserving the rental stock.

To its credit, Brampton has been working to increase its rental supply to take the pressure off of desperate tenants who are being rapidly priced out of the market. 

City Council launched Housing Brampton in 2017 to serve as a road map in increasing the supply of rental and affordable ownership units. Housing Brampton focused on increasing the number of affordable rental and ownership housing units that were developed. 

At the time, the average value of a home in Brampton was $570,344, and 33.61 per cent of Bramptonians spent 30 per cent or more of their income on shelter costs. Monthly, homeowners paid an average of $1869, while renters paid an average of $1,225.

While prices have certainly increased, so has the number of affordable housing units.

Brampton received six new affordable housing units in the development at 171 Main Street North last year, with $638,190 of funding from the federal and provincial governments to obtain the units.

In May 2019, the Canadian government announced a new project by Brampton Bramalea Christian Fellowship Residences Ltd. which would provide 89 new units of affordable housing and one market, taking at least 45 families off the Region of Peel Centralized waiting list.

In other good news for renters, Urbanation recently released a report that revealed that vacancy rates in Toronto edged up in the second quarter of 2019, which is encouraging in a province that's seen very little purpose-built rental construction over the past 20 years or so. 

If Brampton follows suit and supply starts to match demand, tenants might be better off.

Here’s hoping for more fulsome rental construction soon.

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