What does "affordable housing" and "attainable housing" mean?

    When we refer to affordable housing, what do we mean?

    Generally, when we refer to affordable housing, we are referring to housing that costs less than 30% of a household’s income before-tax.  

    For example, if a household earns $60,000 a year before tax, that household should spend less than $18,000 a year (or $1,500 a month) on total housing costs in order for the housing to be considered affordable. 

    There is a misconception that “affordable housing” only includes government subsidized housing.  When we talk about affordable housing, we are referring to all types of housing, such as rental, ownership. co-operative ownership, as well as temporary and permanent housing. 

    Affordability is only one piece of the puzzle and that is why the Muskoka Housing Task Force is focused on Attainable Housing opportunities. 

    When we refer to attainable housing, what do we mean?

    Attainable Housing means:

    • Adequate in condition (no major repairs needed)
    • Appropriate in size (bedrooms appropriate for household)
    • Affordable (costing less than 30% of before tax income)
    • Accessible (located in areas where common services are available)
    • Available (a range of housing types)

    The more pieces missing, the more unstable housing becomes.  

    What is the Housing Continuum?

    Housing options available in a community are best shown on a housing continuum. (A continuum is a continuous sequence of elements that may not appear to be too different from each other from one element to the next, but the ends of the sequence are quite distinct.) The housing continuum shows a range of options for housing depending on the needs and incomes of residents in a community.

    At one end of the housing continuum are people living in crisis, who may be homeless or utilizing shelters, and at the other end there are independent renters or homeowners. 

    In between these two ends are individuals who are paying their own rent but with a form of assistance or subsidy provided by a governing body or charitable organization.