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Vacancy rate in Ottawa close to zero for those needing affordable housing

The vacancy rate in Ottawa is 3.4 per cent, but this number drops to around 0.2 for those who are low income.
homeless youth shelter
Stock photo.

Although the housing crisis impacts those at all financial levels, those living on a low income have even fewer housing options.

Meg McCallum, interim executive director of the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa, told The Sam Laprade Show on Wednesday, Aug. 17, that the vacancy rate in Ottawa is 3.4 per cent, but this number is closer to zero for those living on a low income.

"If you are trying to make ends meet, and you're in a situation where you need to find new housing…do you stay in a bad relationship facing harassment and violence? Or do you choose the horrible choice of becoming homeless?" she said.

McCallum added that the affordable housing crisis is seen throughout the city, from homelessness downtown to senior citizens in the suburbs unable to find a place to retire in their community.

 "It might look different in those suburban or rural areas, but I think we feel the impact," she said.

The Alliance currently has a campaign called Starts with Home that has three key messages they hope the new city council will work on once elected.

Listen to the full interview with Meg McCallum below:

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