Letter: Housing crisis is hurting people’s mental health

Editor:

Housing has become a major issue in Canada. Soaring prices have caused major problems in family structure.

As a university graduate, one of my observations speaking with other university students, as well as members of the general public, is concerned about rent affordability and how costly it has become to buy a home.

I remember speaking with seniors who had genuine concerns as they were on pensions and had anxiety on the increases in rent every year in some places.

Younger Canadians are avoiding starting families and, in a way, avoiding having children, since families are becoming more and more focused on paying rent and the anxiety around this issue.

I’ve spoken over the years with many people who have anxiety around job security and how this will impact the ability to pay rent. Many people, I have observed, are just living to work and are forced into this situation by the lack of government having stricter laws and protecting tenants’ rights across Canada as a whole.

Many people I’ve spoken have told me stories — examples being the heater is not working in the winter months, rodent infestations, ceilings that are leaking and maintenance coming weeks later, no electricity in some places for a number of days.

Mental health is affected by this. The housing crisis really impacts people’s mental well-being overall. An excellent organization called Acorn Canada basically pushes the government to have better laws to protect people’s basic human rights.

Ultimately, the government should have stricter laws to protect tenants, as well as hold accountable apartment corporations that treat tenants poorly.

Rent should not be as costly in major cities, as average Canadians struggle to make ends meet, especially during COVID.

One thing I’ve noticed speaking with younger Canadians college graduates and university graduates, is how good-quality jobs are harder to find, and many graduates have ended up working in grocery stores or fast-food chain restaurants to make ends meet in order to pay rent.

Brian Jones

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