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Alberta’s Indigenous Renters Hit Hard: Paying More for Housing Than Others

Many Indigenous spend over 60% of their income on housing

New data from the Canadian Rental Housing Index shows that Indigenous renters in Canada are spending more of their income on  housing than others in the province. 

Indigenous renters spend over 60 percent of their income on housing and utilities in places like Okotoks, Canmore, and Leduc County. 

According to Jenny Grant from the Alberta Seniors and Communities Housing Association, more than one in three Indigenous renter households spend more than the recommended 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities.

Even worse, almost one in seven of these households spend over half of their income on rent. This puts them in a crisis where they have very little money left for other necessities.

On average, Indigenous renters also make $8,000 less per year than non-Indigenous renters, but they still pay comparable rent prices.

This means that Indigenous renters face higher poverty rates and struggle to afford necessities like food and clothing.

Margret Pfoh, CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, explains that this issue is not limited to Canada. Indigenous people in other countries around the world often face similar challenges.

“If they can’t afford to pay for the other necessities, then they’re going to need to be attending food banks, they’re going to not be equipping their families for some of the other essentials like food and clothing…,” Pfoh told City News

According to Pfoh, “Indigenous peoples across the world in any colonized country ranked the highest on the worst scales and the lowest on the best scales.” 

In this case, the worst scale is homelessness, and Indigenous peoples rank the highest. To address this problem, Pfoh believes the government needs to act.

She emphasizes that the real estate market in Canada has become focused on financial gains, with people buying second homes and holiday homes.

Government officials at all levels need to understand the severity of the situation and work towards finding a solution.

The high rent burdens Indigenous renters face in Alberta and across Canada highlight the need for affordable housing solutions and support from the government.

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