The Cost of Homelessness

It is not a secret that during times of economic challenge, those at the margins are most impacted. The pandemic has shown us all very clearly that affordable housing can mean having a roof over one’s head and being able to pay for the necessities of life, and the thousands on our community’s waiting list can attest to that.

Rents have skyrocketed as the economy boomed, new builds seemed to be limited to high end condos and rentals with little attention being paid to those being told the waiting list for affordable housing is 11 years long. Unemployment, business closures and an economic slowdown will only add to the numbers of people who will need assistance to remain housed or who will become homeless.

Affordable housing is not an option, it is a vital component of a healthy community which does not force people to choose between food and shelter. This is a kind, compassionate and very caring community, and as a community we are committed to ensuring everyone has a place to call home.

Thank you for helping us Show The Way Home and wishing you all good health and peace this holiday season.

The Statistics Behind The Cost of Homelessness:

  • $8 Billion annually to support those without homes or $120,000 per person on the streets
  • The cost of an emergency shelter is $1,932 monthly
  • The cost of maintaining a tenant in supportive housing is $22,000 annually and affordable housing is $10,000 annually
  • The waiting list in Waterloo Region for affordable housing is almost 11 years long
  • There are over 3,000 seniors waiting for affordable housing in Waterloo Region
  • An individual on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) receives about $1,150 a month which includes their shelter allowance
  • An individual on Ontario Works (OW) receives about $700 a month, which includes their shelter allowance and all other expenses including food, transit and clothing
  • The amount an individual on ODSP or OW can earn is very limited and anything over $200 a month is clawed back by the province
  • Average market rent in Waterloo Region for a studio apartment is $1,280