Metro Vancouver workers must earn $35.43/hr to rent an average two-bedroom apartment

The metro region ranks as least affordable in Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released a rental housing wage report for cities across Canada and Vancouver was ranked the least affordable.

The study determines what the hourly wage would have to be for a full-time worker to rent an average two-bedroom apartment using 30 per cent of their income or less. It refers to this figure as the “rental wage.”

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Using these metrics, a full-time worker in Vancouver Census Metropolitan Region (CMA) would need to make $35.43 per hour to afford an average-priced two-bedroom apartment, or $26.72 for a one-bedroom rental. In addition, a minimum-wage-earning Metro Vancouverite would have to work 84 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom, or 112 hours for a two-bedroom.

Across all of Canada the average rental wage is $22.40 per hour to afford an average-priced two-bedroom apartment. For an average-priced one-bedroom apartment, the national average rental wage is $20.20 per hour.

The second highest rental wage is in Toronto CMA, where workers require $33.70 per hour. Victoria CMA came third with $28.47 per hour, and Calgary CMA came fourth with $26.97 per hour.

The study also noted that particular neighbourhoods are markedly more expensive.

“Vancouver neighbourhoods containing over 6,000 apartments also have among the highest rental wages: Downtown Central ($46/hr), English Bay ($46/hr) and South Granville ($40/hr).”

Some smaller rental neighbourhoods, such as Kitsilano-Point Grey ($43 per hour) and Mount Pleasant ($36 per hour), are slightly cheaper. However, these figures are still well above B.C.’s minimum wage.

The study also highlighted how a minimum-wage worker (e.g., a single parent) can only comfortably afford the average two-bedroom rental rate in 3 percent of the 795 neighbourhoods across Canada where rental and income data are available.

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