piggy bank 2

People with insufficient income face impossible choices every single day. Basic needs are increasingly out of reach for people living on low-income.

An equitable recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic requires that people with low income, Indigenous people, women, people living with disabilities and other employment barriers have enough income and other resources to recover well.

In an August 26 media release, the Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force and United Way Bruce Grey calls on all Federal candidates to prioritize Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy – Opportunity for All. Specifically to invest in more programs that

• lift people out of poverty, in a dignified manner, by ensuring they can afford basic needs such as safe and affordable housing, healthy food, and health care
• ensure economic barriers – such as daycare, transportation, racial and gender discrimination - are reduced
• promote full participation in society and equitable opportunities for all people

The pandemic has increased the number of people in our communities who are struggling to find affordable homes and/or experiencing homelessness. It also demonstrated how those struggling can be more vulnerable to threats in their community.

Housing is a basic right in Canada. A Housing First approach and investment in wrap around human services is essential to reducing poverty, ending homelessness, preparing people for employment; and creating healthy and safe communities.

The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force calls on all Federal candidates to prioritize A Place to Call Home - National Housing Strategy. Specifically to invest in more programs to

• build affordable and supportive housing
• address critical gaps in homelessness for women and youth
• develop an Indigenous Housing Strategy for rural Indigenous people who live off-reserve
• protect existing rental housing

A sustainable recovery must incorporate a climate lens in all policies, especially those addressing poverty and vulnerable people.

The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force calls on all Federal candidates to consider the priorities of Everyone at the Table – Food Policy for Canada. Specifically to

• ensure people can afford healthy food
• invest in community-based interventions that increase access to food, with the potential to provide social, health, environmental, and economic benefits
• enable all Canadians and stakeholders to collaborate on food policy goals including those to reduce food waste
• support Indigenous food security and sovereignty

Quick Facts:

Nearly one in five children across Grey and Bruce live in a low-income household.

A living wage is an hourly wage that a worker needs in order to meet their family's basic needs. In Grey and Bruce counties, pre-pandemic this came to $18.39 per hour.

Traditional food charities are designed to meet emergency needs but are not a permanent solution to food insecurity. One in six Canadians who visit food banks are employed.

Approximately 10 percent of people in Bruce and Grey County spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

A bachelor apartment in Grey Bruce costs approximately $1200 per month. A one bedroom apartment is $1500 and a two bedroom apartment is $2000. For that cost to not exceed the 30 percent recommended threshold, someone would have to be earning $48,000 per year or $26.37 per hour for a Bachelor, $60,000 per year or $32.96 per hour for a one bedroom or $80,000 per year or $43.95 per hour for a two bedroom.

On minimum wage earnings, $25,480 per year or $14 per hour, rent would have to be $700 per month in order to not exceed the 30 percent threshold. ODSP housing allowance provides $497 for a single, $781 for a couple or $846 for a couple with one child. Ontario Works housing allowance is $390 for a single, $642 for a couple or $697 for a couple with one child.

Enough To Thrive On 560

Enough to Thrive On infographic was created by Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force. Click for larger view.

Housing and Wage 560

This Housing and Wages infographic was created by United Way Bruce Grey. Click for larger view.