What is affordable?

Everyone likely has a different definition of what is affordable when thinking about monthly expenses for things like rent and utilities. In terms of housing, the general rule is that you should spend no more than 30 per cent of your monthly gross income on housing costs.

In fact, that 30 per cent should include utilities. If you're a homeowner, it should also include other ownership costs, like mortgage interest, property taxes and maintenance.

Despite Canada’s stable and strong economy, many Ottawa residents still struggle with those monthly costs. 42 per cent of renters spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing costs. And those who live near or below the poverty line often have difficulty finding housing options that are affordable, compared to their income.

Spending more than 30 per cent of your monthly gross income on housing needs limits your ability to pay for other basic necessities, such as food, clothing and transportation.

  1. What per cent of your income do you spend on housing and related costs?
  2. What does a city with access to adequate, suitable and affordable housing look like to you?
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