Exploring Housing-Induced Poverty among Middle-Income Canadian Households
Institute of Urban Studies
The Rural and Small Town Programme
This report began by exploring the concept of working poverty. It was determined at the outset that while much work had been done on the traditional working poor – that is those low earning “working households” – little had been done to examine more moderate and upper-middle income earning households and their shelter cost issues. To explore this in more detail, the international literature was reviewed with five Canadian cities selected as case studies (Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa and Halifax). The intent was to explore these five diverse cities using a mixed methods approach that combined both statistical data with more qualitative techniques to ensure a comprehensive analysis was undertaken. This included examining the historical and present context of shelter cost issues among a group not traditionally associated with having affordability pressures. The results point to an emerging trend that suggests more middleincome earning households are facing shelter affordability challenges. The key findings observed in the literature and the data and the focus groups conducted in the five cites are summarized.