Peterborough’s rental market continues to outpace both inflation and wage increases, according to a new report released Wednesday (October 6) by the United Way Peterborough & District.
The 16th annual Housing is Fundamental report reveals average rents in Peterborough have increased by more than the provincial rent review guideline for the fourth year in a row.
“Many of us with privilege take for granted safe affordable places to call home,” said Jim Russell, United Way Peterborough & District CEO, at an event releasing the report at the organization’s Stewart Street offices. “Until everyone in our community enjoys the dignity that comes from having safe affordable housing, our community will not be whole.”
The report was written by housing advocate Paul Armstrong, who noted the average one-year rental increase for a two-bedroom apartment in the Peterborough area was 7.9 per cent in 2020, with the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment rising to $1,191. The overall rental market showed a one-year increase of 4.9 per cent.
“Throughout Canada we are losing affordable housing much faster than we are replacing it,” Armstrong said. “In the context of Peterborough, rental markets continue to outpace both inflation and wage increases.”
Along with housing costs, the report cites substandard housing as a significant contributor to poverty and poor health outcomes.
“We must see housing in the perspective of health,” Armstrong added. “Housing costs are significant contributors to poverty and the link between poverty and health has been irrefutably established.”
The report also defines what housing “affordability” means as it pertains to household incomes, pointing out that at least 34 per cent of Peterborough households cannot afford the current average market rent of $1,124 per month.
Peterborough’s vacancy rate of 2.6 per cent is lower than comparable cities, the report finds.
The full 12-page report can be viewed below or on the United Way Peterborough & District’s website at www.uwpeterborough.ca.
PDF: 2021 Housing is Fundamental Report
2021 Housing is Fundamental Report - United Way Peterborough & District