A household is considered to be poor when it devotes 63% or more of its income to food, rent and clothing.
Housing costs have the greatest impact on living conditions. When a household devotes more than 30% of its income to rent, it is considered to be spending too much on housing and at risk of having financial difficulty meeting its other basic needs.
Monthly budget of a 40-year-old single mother, with a 14-year-old son, working 35 hours a week at the minimum wage
Salary at $10.15 per hour: $1,539 per month
Minimum cost of monthly food bill: $511
Average cost of a two-bedroom apartment on Montreal Island: $737
What she has left for other expenses (telephone, electricity, clothing, transportation, personal care, school supplies, in some cases debt repayment, etc.): $291
Finding suitable housing in Greater Montreal
- The average rent is higher in the Montreal census metropolitan area than in Quebec province as a whole.
- Many households live in housing they cannot afford: the proportion of renter households that devote 30% or more of their income to rent is 39% on Montreal Island, 37% in Laval and 33% on the South Shore.
- Between 2000 and 2003 in the Montreal census metropolitan area, the average rent increased by 15.3% for one-bedroom units, 13% for two-bedroom units and 12.7% for three bedroom units.
- Montreal is where low-income people and those who have the most difficulty finding suitable housing are concentrated: single-parent families, persons living alone and recent immigrants.
- The number of households awaiting social housing is 23,000 on Montreal Island, 1,000 in Laval and 3,900 in the Montérégie (including 1,200 in Longueuil alone).
Feeding yourself in Greater Montreal
- The proportion of people in a situation of moderate to serious food insecurity is 9% (139,000) on Montreal Island, 5% (16,400) in Laval and 4% (50,000) in the Montérégie.
- 48% of students in schools under the Montreal School Board come from disadvantaged backgrounds and are likely to need nutritional support, although only 18% receive such support.
- On Montreal Island, half of all households that use food assistance agencies are composed of families with children.
Lasting soultions for improving the living conditions of individuals and families
- Promote social housing
- Support housing search and advocate tenants’ rights
- Develop job-readiness activities
- Develop food security initiatives
- Provide family budgeting education and support
- Offer front-line services: nutritional support, reception, friendly listening, assistance and referral
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