HOMELESSNESS: FACT SHEET
- In 2009, an average of 267 people stayed in homeless shelters or transitional housing each night in Regina.
- Homelessness in Regina is to some extent invisible. Rather than going to shelters, many homeless individuals and families double up or couch surf. Some Regina citizens live in garages. Some even live in vehicles.
- The face of homelessness is very diverse. Homeless people include ●children ●single mothers ●single women ●single men ●seniors on fixed income ●families ●adults working minimum wage jobs ●women fleeing abuse ●young people who cannot get a foothold in the job market ●individuals with mental health issues ●those struggling to overcome addiction. The homeless could be a relative or a friend. They could be you or me.
- A recent Salvation Army survey reported that one in five Saskatchewan adults has come close to or has actually experienced homelessness at some time in his/her life.
- Regina has had one of the lowest apartment vacancy rates in Canada for several years. In October 2010, the vacancy rate was 1%, still well under a 3% rate that is considered reasonable. This makes it difficult for those needing rental accommodation to find an apartment. The number of rental apartments has declined as existing apartments have been converted to condominiums. There is currently little new construction of affordable rental housing.
- Between April 2009 and April 2010, Regina had the largest rent increases in the country.
- Between October 2009 and October 2010, the average apartment rent in Regina increased by 5.5%. this is on top of an 8.1% increase over the previous year. In October 2010, the average monthly rent for a two bedroom apartment in Regina was $881.
- In 2006, 15,600 households in Regina spent 30% or more of their income on shelter–a level that indicates unaffordability. That’s 41% of tenant households. The percentage would be much higher today.
- A single man or woman receiving social assistance through the Saskatchewan Assistance Program would spend approximately 97% of their monthly income on rent, leaving 3% to cover food, transportation, and other monthly expenses.
- A single person working full-time at a minimum wage job would spend approximately 73% of their monthly income on rent and food costs alone.
The Government of Saskatchewan wants to spend $431 million on a domed stadium in Regina. If this project proceeds, it will be the taxpayers of Regina, Saskatchewan, and Canada who pay for the dome.
For the cost of a dome, the City could build 1,874 affordable housing units. This would provide affordable, safe, and adequate housing for Regina families and be an investment that would pay for itself. In contrast, if a dome is built, taxpayers will be paying for years to come.
The Saskatchewan government will make its decision about the domed stadium by the end of February.
- Tell Premier Brad Wall and Minister of Gaming, Ken Cheveldayoff, you don’t want $431 million of your tax dollars spent on a domed stadium. You’d rather it be spent on affordable housing: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
- Send the same message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mayor Pat Fiacco (Service.Regina@regina.ca).