“If we are to properly represent our constituents, I’m urging this House to take real substantive and timely action to address the soaring cost of living and shortage of affordable places to live.” – Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch
From the Constituency Office of Jeff Burch, NDP MPP for the Niagara Centre Riding in Niagara, Ontario
Posted April 4th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
(A Note from Niagara At Large – The following statement by Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch was made in the Ontario legislature this past March 30th and is very much in line from what NAL hears many people – especially younger people – in our Niagara region and elsewhere in the province saying. That is why NAL is posting it.)
A Statement by Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch –
“In my riding of Niagara Centre, there is a severe lack of affordable housing, wages are stagnant, but the price of gas, groceries, and housing continues to rise.
A modest one bedroom in Welland is going for $1400 a month. A basement one-bedroom apartment in Port Colborne is $1300. According to Niagara’s Workforce Planning Board in March 2020,Niagara’s average home price was $450,000. In March 2021, this price increased by 37.2% to over $620,000.This annual increase in local housing costs outpaces wage increases of the average worker by five times.
If you work at a grocery store or in the service sector full-time, your take-home pay is roughly $1800 a month. The median income in Niagara is just $35,000 a year. Speaker, that worker takes home just over $2,300 a month. So we’re asking people to spend 60% of their take-home income on a one-bedroom apartment. I am willing to wager, not one person sitting in this house is faced with that impossible task.
When Members of this House, go home to their constituencies I know they are hearing much the same thing. It is the obligation of this House to address this critical issue.
If we are to properly represent our constituents, I’m urging this House to take real substantive and timely action to address the soaring cost of living and shortage of affordable places to live, bring back rent control – the rent control this (Ford) government eliminated just months into its term – tackle the unsustainable price of owning a home, discourage speculation and we must commit to building more social housing and cooperative housing.
The people of Niagara and people across this province are demanding action.
Thank you Speaker.”
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