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Advocate for a Canadian National Housing Strategy

Housing should be a fundamental right

Poverty in Northumberland County

  • Rent increases have outpaced growth in incomes
  • 2,600 individuals use the Fare Share Food Bank in Cobourg each month (yes, this is just in Cobourg, alone)
  • No new houses are priced below $150,000, yet half of the households in Northumberland County cannot afford to pay $150,000 or more for housing. Those with the greatest need are shut out of the housing market.
  • House prices in Cobourg increased by 97% from 2000-2006
  • At least 2,500 households are in need; many are at risk of homelessness.
  • Wait time for rent-geared-to-income units is 3-6 years
  • No additional rent-geared-to-income units have been built since 1995
  • 93% of families on the social housing wait list have incomes less than $20,000
  • In the poorest areas of the County 37% of houses pre-date World War II
  • 2,285 dwellings in the County require major repair
  • Building activity is high but most new units are expensive and there is no new rental housing being developed
  • Well-paid manufacturing jobs are disappearing and are being replaced by minimum wage entry level jobs

**Affordable Housing Need in Northumberland County
by Gerry Daly


Consultant in Planning and Housing January 2008,

Northumberland Affordable Housing Steering  Committee

Addressing the Need

Over 4 million people in our country do not have access to safe, decent, affordable shelter. These men and women, mothers and fathers, are forced to make impossible choices between adequate shelter and basic necessities of life like food, clothing, education and medical expenses.

This is the reality in a country that once prided itself as a world leader in affordable housing.

With so many Canadian families in need of affordable housing, this need must be heard and addressed.

Together we can urge discussion, action and change across the country.

Lack of affordable housing can take numerous negative tolls on individuals and the communities in which they live. It can cause increased stress, limited sense of belonging and overall feelings of insecurity. It can also negatively impact individuals’ education and career paths and further perpetuate the cycle of poverty.

According to our research, safe and affordable housing can improve peoples’ physical and mental health. For example, a child living in decent housing is ten times less likely to contract meningitis, asthma or respiratory complications, which effectively reduces dependency on social services.

A separate study commissioned by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, an active support of HFHN shows that 40 percent of families saw an improvement in their children’s school grades after moving into a Habitat home. More than half of Habitat families experienced an improvement in their children’s behaviour and nearly two-thirds reported an improvement in their overall well being.



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