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Changing Patterns in Canadian Homeownership and Shelter Costs, 2006 Census: Comparing shelter costs to income

Lone-parent households renting: Decline in the proportion spending 30% or more of their income on shelter

Census data showed a decline from five years earlier in the proportion of lone-parent households that rented their accommodation and spent 30% or more of their income on shelter. This was the case for both single fathers and single mothers, although the decline was faster among women.

In 2006, about 45.3% of lone-mother households that rented their accommodation spent 30% or more of their income on shelter, down from 50.4% five years earlier. Among lone-father households that rented, the proportion declined from 31.9% to 30.2%.

Lone mothers who rented their accommodation experienced an increase in income between 2001 and 2006 that was faster than the increase in the cost of shelter. The median income for lone mothers rose from $22,756 to $27,641, while the median income for lone fathers increased from $36,169 to $40,811.1

In contrast, the proportion of lone-parent households, headed by both men and women, that owned their accommodation and spent 30% or more of their income on shelter, increased during the past five years. In this case, the rise was faster among lone-mother households.

About 29.5% of lone mothers who owned their accommodation spent 30% or more of their income on shelter, up from 27.4% five years earlier. As stated earlier in this report, between 2001 and 2006, the homeownership rate for lone-mother households increased from 47.8% to 52.5%.

Lone-parent households that owned their accommodation experienced larger increases in their shelter costs than in their income. Lone-mother households, in particular, experienced smaller income gains than lone-father households, as well as faster increases in shelter costs.

The median income of lone-mother households that owned went from $43,975 in 2001 to $50,509 in 2006. The median income for lone-father owner households rose from $53,207 to $62,752.

Table 7
Percentage of lone-parent owner and renter households spending 30% or more of their income on shelter, Canada, 2001 and 2006

Note:

  1. These dollar values are expressed in current dollars. Between 2001 and 2006, inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index increased by 11.3%.

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