Yesterday's post was about affordable housing. Today's post follows nicely as it's about a living wage. A living wage refers to the hourly wage one needs to earn to cover basic costs of living in a particular community. Some employers voluntarily use this amount as their base pay and there employers are often referred to as living wage employers. In Ontario, Ontario Living Wage Network provides detailed information about the living wage as well as a list of current living wage employers.
Another indicator of affordability is the rental wage which is the hourly wage required to rent an average 2 bedroom apartment without spending more than 30% of one's income. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has calculated the rental wage for communities across Canada. In their recently released report, it was noted that in only 3% of the nearly 800 neighbourhoods studied, could a full time minimum wage earner afford to rent the average 2 bedroom apartment. The report also includes an interactive map where you can take a closer look at particular communities across the country.
Creating an equitable and affordable city is not something that can be built by only addressing one issue, such as building more homes. Wages, mental health, distribution of wealth, and many more issues must also be considered. However, knowing some of the data, as provided above, can give us a baseline to understanding some of those core issues so we can better address them. #365ofgoodWR