Brantford Needs Rental Options Based on Income Percentage, say Walk For Affordable Housing Participants

Brantford needs rental options based on income percentage to help create affordable housing and ease financial burdens for low-income families and individuals.

This is the message many participating in the recent Walk For Affordable Housing Brantford have for the city’s policymakers.

Following the Nov. 15 walk, participants shared their thoughts about why the event was important to them and what their vision of affordable housing in Brantford should look like.

Roy Jones says he attended the walk because rental costs in Brantford have risen to a point beyond what many working people can afford.

He says there needs to be housing available to people in the city based on their income percentage, ideally no more than 30 per cent.

“If the wages go up, the rent can go up; if wages come down, the rent should come down, but it should be based on percent (of income),” he says.

“Nobody (should have) to stay on the streets, everybody (should have) the choice for housing, and people (should be) able to access housing with 30 per cent of their income.”

Participant Clove says “a lot of people are struggling right now” to make ends meet in Brantford, and a shortage of affordable housing is the driving factor.

However, Clove says one of the obstacles to creating affordable housing is that it’s a multifaceted issue with many variables to consider, including apartment rentals, subsidized housing and shelters.

Like Roy, Clove says everyone should have access to housing while paying no more than one-third of their income.

“Nobody (should have) to stay on the streets, everybody (should have) the choice for housing, and people (should be) able to access housing with 30 per cent of their income,” they say.

Another participant, who we will call Jane, says too many Brantfordians are forced to spend the majority of their income on rent, leaving little money for other necessities.

Like Roy and Clove, Jane says rent based on income would help fix the problem.

“You should be able to enjoy life,” she says. “I just feel (that ideally) everyone would only pay a certain ratio — like 30 or 35 per cent — going to rent.”

Kayden, another participant, has had friends and family members impacted by homelessness and says “no one (should) be sleeping on the streets or be hungry every night.”

“I don’t like the idea that people are out in the cold, especially when I have a place to stay,” Kayden says.

A Community Living Brant staff member who attended the walk says housing needs to be considered a “right” and that everyone should have access to affordable housing.

“In a perfect world, people would live how they want.”


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