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Evaluating the need for low-rental housing : a review of conditions among family applications for the… Wheeler, Michael 1955

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EVALUATING THE NEED FOR LOW-RENTAL HOUSING A Review of Conditions Among Family/ Applications for the L i t t l e Mountain Low-Rental Housing Project, Vancouver, and Consideration of Cri t e r i a for Future Housing Projects. by MICHAEL WHEELER Thesis Submitted i n Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK in the School of Social Work Accepted as conforming to the standard required for the degree of Master of Social Work School of Social Work 1955 The University of Br i t i s h Columbia i v ABSTRACT The need for public low-rental housing i s frequently discussed but there i s l i t t l e exact knowledge of the amount or kind of need, and few surveys of definitive type. The inauguration of the f i r s t subsi-dized low-rental project for family housing i n Vancouver ( L i t t l e Mountain) makes possible such a study. This survey i s directed particularly to the housing and income circumstances of the families who applied for entrance to the L i t t l e Mountain low-rental housing project (only a small proportion of whom were actually housed i n the finished buildings). Samples only could be used: the data relates to the kind of housing occupied by the applicant families, the costs of such housing, i t s quality and adequacy, the size and composition of the families, and their rent-paying capacity. I t i s -also an essay on method: (a) a simple schedule was devised, appropriate for summarizing the varied family and housing information contained i n the registration forms; (b) classifications or subdivisions by which housing can be related to family circumstances were developed. A si g n i -ficant division i s that between ( 1 ) 'normal' families which have both parents, (2) broken families which have only one parent, and (3) composite families which include other relatives. The analysis'of the material i s pursued i n three directions: (a) adequacy or inadequacy of family accommodation, and i t s distribution, (b) summary methods of relating housing conditions to family composition, income, and rent," (c) budgetary aspects of rent and costs, and potential rent-paying capacities of families. Information for the study was obtained from the Vancouver Housing Authority registration forms f i l l e d by families who applied for accom-modation i n the L i t t l e Mountain project; from regional (B.C.) s t a t i s t i c s of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation; and from relevant literature on housing conditions i n Vancouver and on housing policy i n general, including the surveys and publications of the Vancouver Housing Association. Most of the families were found to be occupying accommodation unsuited to their needs. There i s considerable incidence of inadequacy and inefficiency of accommodation; overcrowding i s particularly pronounced. Many of the families are paying moderate rents, but the quality of the accommodation i s low. Payment of higher rents does not necessarily ensure adequate shelter, because the available amount of satisfactory housing i s limited. A major implication of the study i s that rent-levels should not be used as a measurement of housing without proper relation to family composition and types of housing need. Wider implications of the study, discussed i n the concluding chapter, include (a) limitations to the idea of "self-help" i n housing, (b) the relevance of home-ownership, and (c) the relevance of public housing. I i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter 1. The Housing Problem for Low-Income Families Nature of the Housing Problem. The Housing Available and Housing Needs. Current Housing Picture i n Van-couver. Method of Study. Chapter 2. Families i n Need and Their Housing Conditions Family Structure Among Applicants for the L i t t l e Mountain Project. Types of Accommodation. Overcrowding and "Doubling-Up". Housing Conditions of Broken Fami-l i e s . Housing Inadequacies i n Relation to Family Needs, Income, and Rent • Chapter 3. The Income-Rent Pattern The Significance of Supplementary Family Earnings. Family Structure, and Family Income. Prevailing Rents. Rents i n Relation to Type and Quality of Accommodation. Rents in Relation to. Income; the Proportionate Rent Principle and What.It Means for Different Types of Families. Rent-Paying Capacities of Families Chapter k» Comparisons and Implications The Income Patterns of Families. Rent as a Proportion of Income and the Kind of Housing i t Buys. Implicat-ions for Improving Housing. Potential Home Ownership. Public Housing. The Contribution of L i t t l e Mountain and the Groups Untouched by L i t t l e Mountain. "Low-Income^ and "Low-Rental"; "Economic Rent": The Need ' for Definition. Appendices: A. Descriptive Information on L i t t l e Mountain Housing Project. B. The Families Sampled. C. Estimates of Housing Need (Vancouver, 1 9 5 U ) . D. Additional S t a t i s t i c a l Material (Chapters 3 and E. Notes on Definition of Income. F. Bibliography. i i i TABLES AND CHARTS IN THE TEXT (a) Tables Page Table 1. Estimated Average Housing Costs, N.H.A. Units, 19U7 - 1 9 5 U 2 Table 2. Proportion of Apartment Units Built Canada, 19U7-" ••" 195k 3 Table 3. Family Composition of Applicants 23 Table k» Heads of Families: Distribution According to Age Group and Type of Family ......................... 2k Table 5". Size of Families (Persons) '. 29 Table 6. Distribution of Families of Different Sizes Among the various Types of Accommodation 31 Table 7. Distribution of Crowded Families According to Size and Type of Accommodation 35> Table 8. Scale of Accommodation (Size of Family Compared with Number of Rooms) 36 Table 9. Overcrowding Judged by Sleeping Accommodation: Distribution Among Families of Different Size .... 37 Table 10. Doubled-up Families: Distribution According to Size 38 Table 11. Bathroom and Kitchen Facilities: Distribution of Families 39 Table 12. Distribution of Crowded Families According to Size and Type of Accommodation (Broken Families).. k2 Table 13. Scale of Accommodation (Size of Family Compared with Number of Rooms) (Broken Families) .. h2 Table Ik, Overcrowding Judged by Sleeping Accommodation: Distribution Among Families of Different Size (Broken Families) k-2 Table 15. Doubled-up Families: Distribution According to Size (Broken Families) k3 Table 16. Bathroom and Kitchen F a c i l i t i e s : Distribution of Families (Broken Families) U3 Table 17. Relationship between Types of Families, Incomes and Rents and Percentages of Housing Inadequacies.. k9 Table 18. Income of Chief Earner Compared with Type of Family 58 Table 19. Proportions of Income Spent on Rent by Different Types of Families 6? Table 20. Distribution of Individual Family Rent-Earnings Percentages Classified According to Specified Earnings 70 Table 21. Monthly Incomes Required to Enable Families to Main-tain Minimum Standard of Living and Pay One-Fifth of Income for Rent, Compared with Actual Incomes of Families Applying for L i t t l e Mountain ;.. 73 Table 22. Gross Family Income, Average Loan, Down Payment, and Dwelling Cost for Loans for Home Ownership, National Housing Acts 1951 to December 195U 90 (b) Charts Page F i g . l Relationship between Chief Earner Income and Total Family Income Compared with Type of Family 53 Fig. 2 Median and Quartile Rent Levels for Applicant Families and for A l l Tenant-Occupied Dwellings, Metropolitan Vancouver, 1951 • • • 6 l Fig.3 Actual Proportion of Families at Specified"Rent Levels Compared with Distribution According to Proportionate Rent-Paying Capacity 69 V. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This study would not have been possible without the cordial interest and help of a number of people. In particular, I should l i k e to express my appreciation of the help received from Mr. P.R.U. Stratton of the Vancouver Housing Association, and from Mrs. Buzan, secretary of the Association; from Mr. Sutherland, secretary-manager of the Vancouver Housing Authority, and from Mr. Skuce, Regional Office Statistician of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Acknowledgement i s made of the courtesy of the Board of the Vancouver Housing Authority i n making available the registration forms of applicant families. It has been a privilege and an inspiration to have the cooperation of Dr. Leonard Marsh of the School of Social Work. His was the Ariadnes thread which pointed out the way from the i n i t i a l preparation of the study to i t s completion. v i EVALUATING THE NEED FOR LOW-RENTAL HOUSING A Review of Conditions Among Family Applications for the L i t t l e Mountain Low-Rental Housing Project, Vancouver, and Consideration of Criteria for Future Housing Projects • CHAPTER I THE HOUSING PROBLEM FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES •f The "housing problem" means many things, and in its analysis the particularist viewpoint has no place. Similarly, statements of the problem in terms of total housing shortage although useful and necessary, are inadequate by themselves and need to be qualified with the reminder that there is not a single homogeneous market for housing, but a set of markets, each requiring different kinds of housing provision. According-ly, in order to deal with the subject in its f u l l dimensions a framework of analysis is needed that takes account of those various specifics which together make up the housing problem. Probably the most conspicuous factor is the shortage of new houses resulting from the severely restricted construction during the war. Actually this situation i s not a l l due to the war since a great decline in house construction had already become evident during the depression years of the 'thirties'. The Curtis Committee in its 1°UU Report"^ cites the evidence of local surveys undertaken by a number of cities during the 'thirties' as a l l pointing to the same conclusion: "housing accomo-dation in the major cities was extremely unsatisfactory, in the sense of overcrowding, and of physical standards and living amenities, slum areas were growing, and there existed a housing shortage, particularly serious 2) for families in the low-income group." - 2 -Closely related to the shortage of new houses is the high cost of house construction. This has showed itself steadily since 19U6, particularly in cities but also in suburbs and even in small towns. The trend is reflected in the increased costs of single one-storey houses financed under National Housing Act provisions and may be observed clearly from the figures assembled in Table 1. Table 1 ESTIMATED AVERAGE HOUSING COSTS, N.H.A. UNITS, 191*7-1951* (Single 1 - Storey Dwellings Only) Tear Land Construction Other Total 19U7 $ 523.00 $ 5,796.00 t • 103.00 0 6,1*22.00 19U8 570.00 6,685.00 121*. 00 7,379.00 19U9 657.00 7,335.00 153.00 8,U*5.O0 1950 835.00 8,171.00 209.00 9,215.00 1951 1,030.00 9,1*12.00 320.00 10,762.00 1952 1,179.00 9,6ia. 00 37k.00 11,191*. 00 1953 1,178.00 10,031*. 00 1*53.00 11,665.00 195* 1,671.00 10,377.00 278.00 12,326.00 Source: Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Housing in Canada, Fourth Quarter, 195U, Abstracted from Table 67, p.98. Assisted home-ownership has been extended consistently during the last eight or nine years, but with houses costing anything from $10,000 - 3 -to $15,000, home ownership must remain beyond the reach of many. "How many?" is a basic question. If the answer were only half of those who need housing, the situation would be serious enough. If greater, then i t raises the whole question of national housing policy. Another unsatisfactory feature of the housing supply is the scarcity of rental accommodation. Some idea of the seriousness of this gap in the total housing picture may be gained from Table 2 which shows the proportion of apartment units built between 19li7 and 1951;, compared with the total number of new housing units. Table 2 PROPORTION OF APARTMENT UNITS BUILT CANADA. 19ll7 - 1951* (Figures to nearest 1000) Year Total Apartment Units Units(a) No. P.C. 19U7 72,200 7,500 9.5 19U8 76,100 8,100 10.6 19U9 88,200 11,500 13.0 1950 89,000 12,800 1U.U 1951 81,300 12,800 15.7 1952 73,100 11,700 16.0 1953 96,800 19,800 20. U 195U 102,000 23,000 22.5 Total 19li7-51t 678,700 107,200 15.8 Source: Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Housing in Canada, Fourth Quarter, 195U, Adapted from Table 6, p.28 (a) Units in this table are new permanent dwellings completed. - l i -l t i s worth noting that the average for these years (15*8 per cent) i s approximately the same as the proportion of the existing stock of individual dwellings being rented in the City of Vancouver in 1951.*^ Clearly this disproportionate emphasis on building for sale to the neglect of rental accommodation i s longstanding and reflects the strong tradition of home-ownership established in this country, regardless of whether or not this is desirable or economically possible for wage-earner families* The situation is further complicated by the fact that there are several kinds of rental housing. There is a considerable amount of old or inadequate or "converted" housing which, before the war, represented relatively low-rent accommodation. Rent levels for metropolitan Vancouver in 19lil are especially revealing on this point for they show that 111 per cent of a l l rented accommodation at that time rented for less than $20 a 9) month. ' At the other extreme is the new apartment housing which has been built extensively only in the last few years. This i s high rent accommo-dation, however, with rents seldom less than $ 1 0 0 . 0 0 a month, and practi-cally none of i t has been designed for families with children. There i s , accordingly, a large area of unsatisfied demand existing between the old and new rental housing and so far l i t t l e has been done to meet this need by building moderate rental family accommodation. One source of such housing has been the Veterans' Housing Projects, but these 3 ) are a special case and the supply is severely restricted., Moreover, i ; P.R.U.Stratton, "The Housing Scene", Houses for A l l , Proceedings of Housing Conference, Vancouver, B.C., Jan.l951i, p.3. 2 ) L.C. Marsh, "The Economics of Low-Rent Housing", The Canadian Journal - of Economics & Political Science, Vol.XV,No.1, February,19U9, p . 2 2 3 ) in Vancouver these projects have made available approximately 1750 - houses for rent to families of veterans. - 5 -the housing problem is not confined to veterans. At this point i t is important to emphasize that the housing situation is the reverse of static. If i t is not being improved i t deteriorates - because of the growth of population alone, i f not for other reasons. Vancouver is especially vulnerable in this respect since i t has to take care of a heavy influx of families from outside as well as its own normal population growth. At the same time, the existing stock of housing is being diminished by demolitions. In each of the last two years over 35>0 buildings have been demolished in the City of Vancouver and there is every indication that this rate will be maintained in the coming years. The removal of rent control has undoubtedly helped to bring rents of old housing more into line with current rental levels, but i t is not likely to produce an increase in the actual supply of family accommodation. It merely means that rents now depend on tenants' ability to pay, rather than on the quality of the accommodation. Those who can afford to pay more for housing are forced to take what is available at the rent demanded, even though the rent is normally commensurate with a better standard of housing. As a result, the standard of the accommodation which i s low-rent is depressed even further and, so long as the total housing stock remains inadequate, there will always be a demand from lower income families and single persons for this cheapened accommodation, regardless of i t s quality. Clearly, the substandard nature of the housing available is as much a part of the housing problem as the actual shortage of dwellings. There is a large amount of such housing in Vancouver, especially among rental units; i t may range a l l the way from suites and converted apartments, to blighted areas and outright slum units. -Evidence of the need for slum-clearance has not been lacking; there have also been practical recommendat-- 6 -ions for dealing with this problem. In 19h7 an exhaustive survey was made of a specific area in Vancouver and practical proposals for the rehabilitation of the area were included in the final report. ^  In spite of this, and the existence of legislation which makes such projects possible, not a single acre of slum has been cleared in Vancouver for the purpose of putting a rehousing project in its place. A reminder is in order here that we are faced not only with a slum problem, but with a situation characterized by much second-hand and in-adequate housing. It is equally evident that the problem is not confined to the city alone but spills over into the suburbs and outlying areas. An important factor in the development of this situation has been the ' conversion of single family houses to various forms of rental accommodation. The converted house has, in actuality, been relied upon to f i l l the gap for people in need of cheap and moderate rental accommodation, and under the pressure of housing shortage this process is continuing in one form or another. A survey, ' carried out in the winter of 1952 and 1953, of families with children living in shared accommodation in the central districts of the c i t y ^ offers an interesting commentary on this particular point. A marked reduction was observed in the number of families living in this type of accommodation compared with the years of acute housing shortage following the war. There was evidence, however, that a large number of families previously living in the area had moved to substandard L.C.Marsh, Rebuilding a Neighbourhood, University of British Gol-umbia, Research Publications, Number 1, 195>0. The area chosen for the demonstration study comprised about forty blocks east of Main Street, bounded by Hastings East, Gore Street, Glen Drive and the False Creek Flats. 2) Survey of Families with Children Living in Shared Accommodation, Vancouver Housing Association, May 195U. ' 3) An area bounded by Burrard Street and Commercial Drive, and Broad-- way Street and Burrard Inlet. - 7 -housing in the outer districts, where cheap accommodation in the shape of basement suites and housekeeping rooms had become available through the spread of multiple occupancy uses and the illegal conversion of single family homes.It should be added that those families with children who had remained in the area were found to be very poorly housed, with crowded rooms, totally inadequate plumbing facilities, and a lack of play space for small children characteristic of the area. 1 It is clear from the preceding discussion that whichever side of the housing equation is considered - the demand side or the supply side -the decisive factor is people's capacity to pay for housing. Whether i t is rent or purchase, income sets the limit. The proportions of their incomes which families spend on housing vary considerably under the pres-sure of circumstances, and i t is therefore difficult to anticipate to what lengths families may go in order to obtain accommodation which they urgently need. Amongst upper-income families, where there can be con-siderable flexibility in the budget, i t is a matter of choice and convent-ion how much is spent on housing, but this is not true for families of moderate and low incomes. The importance of housing as a budget problem is recognized in the well-established formula that the average family should not have to spend more than one-fifth of its income for housing. The smaller the family's income the less flexibility there is in the pro-portions spent on food, clothing, and shelter, until a point is reached at which i t may be impossible for the low income family to pay as much as one fifth of its income for rent, and also maintain a desirable minimum standard of living. Dr. Carver, in his book "Houses for Canadians", - 8 -makes the point that for families below a certain income level the true rent capacity is not one-fifth of income, but only what remains after the costs of maintaining a desirable minimum standard of living have been met.*^  When low-income families have to make an excessive expenditure on housing, to such an extent that the remaining funds are insufficient to maintain a family's standards of health, then this becomes a matter of public concern* Since shelter is just as much an essential of l i f e as food or clothing, i t is obvious that people have to resolve the housing problem' for themselves in some way or other, no matter how acute the shortage may be. What are the choices open to them? (a) they can pay too much, either in terms of rent or payments on a mortgage j (b) they can use up savings, i f any, in the purchase of a home (many veterans applied their gratuities to buying or building a house, often at extravagant prices, as the only way of getting accommodation at a l l , but this kind of purchasing power derived from accumulated savings is now drastically reduced); they can live in cheap but inferior accommodation, which usually means second-hand and converted housing that is quite unsuitable for family living; or they can resort to such expedients as 'doubling-up* with relatives or friends. The Current Housing Picture in Vancouver In a survey of the housing position in 19l*6*^, i t was estimated that to provide each family in the City of Vancouver with a separate house Humphrey Carver, A.R.B.A., Houses for Canadians. University of - Toronto Press, 191*8, p. 81*. 2) Ibid., p.78 ^ Housing Vancouver, A Survey of the Housing Position in Vancouver by the Vancouver Housing Association, March 191*6, p.51*. - 9 -and to eliminate the worst substandard housing, over 2 0 , 0 0 0 houses would be required. The pressures have accumulated since then more than the adequacy of housing, but the information does not exist which would per-mit a comprehensive estimate of Vancouver housing needs. Obviously there are several kinds of housing needed; an adequate statement of the problem would include consideration of the types and standard of housing required for different family groups irrespective of income, as well as in terms of what they can afford to pay for rent or purchase, and some idea of suitable location. Although such a statement is not possible, i t is nevertheless important to have some idea of dimensions in order to place the present study in its proper perspective. The area chosen for the study includes the City of Vancouver and the metropolitan region.^ Properly i t should be the metropolitan area as a whole since the industries and services of Vancouver support a population which cannot be housed within the city limits. Some statistical information, however, is not available for the metropolitan area. Two main sets of factors need to be distinguished in estimating : the aggregate housing shortage for this area. There are (a) current needs; (b) "the backlog". The latter relates primarily to the reduction of over-crowding and the elimination of substandard housing, while the former arises from the natural growth of population. Analysis of the statistical data contained in the Dominion Census of Housing for 1951 and adjusted in the light of housing completions and population increase over the ensuing Metropolitan Vancouver as referred to throughout this study indicates the Census (1951) Metropolitan Area of Vancouver. The area includes Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Pert of Surrey, Fraser Mills, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, West Vancouver. three years, enables one estimate to be made of the current housing deficit. The main points of this analysis (•which is set out in detail in Appendix G) are summarized below. Approximately 20,000 new dwellings were required in 1951 to pro-vide adequate housing for the population of the metropolitan area of Vancouver. The number of new dwellings completed during the period 1951-195U was a l i t t l e over 15,000, while the increase in population resulted in the formation of over 27,000 new households (based on an average of 3.3 persons per household). The existing need at the end of 1951; would thus appear to be in the region of 32,000 new dwellings. This figure is admittedly an approximation and is largely of academic interest since i t is based on a number of unverifiable assumptions in an area in which there are a number of various ways of defining housing need (as explained above). It must be clear by now that units mean l i t t l e without reference to (a) their cost, (bj whether they are for rent or for sale, and (c) their location. The policy hitherto has been to rely on one kind of housing to meet the shortage, viz. houses built for sale, with the assumption that the gradual "filtering-down" of the houses vacated by the new owners will eventually provide accommodation for others. That this policy has failed to result in any improvement for the lower income groups is amply demon-strated in the reports of the Vancouver Housing Association and of the City Social Service Department. The City Social Service Department in its annual reports has re-peatedly stressed the seriousness of the housing problem for social assistance recipients. The report for 19U9 pointed out that many of the - 11 -people on social assistance were forced to use so much of their allowances in order to secure shelter of any kind that there was insufficient l e f t to provide the minimum requirements of food and clothing. The report for 1900 gave much the same picture as that of the previous year. "Decent housing is hard to find when one is able to pay a reasonabe rental - impossible to find when rental allowances range from $10.00 a month for a single person to $20.00 for a family of six or more." 1) Since then there have been some increases in the allowances but the difficulties of finding decent accommodation have persisted. If any-thing, the situation has become worse as rents have increased and the properties deteriorated s t i l l further. A parallel study to the present one indicates that many of the families presently on social assistance are paying rents in excess of their shelter allowances, but that even the payment of extra rent does not necessarily ensure adequate shelter as the 2j available amount of satisfactory housing is so limited. Local studies made by the Vancouver Housing Association help to f i l l in the rental housing picture, for certain groups. These studies have shown that, while the scarcity of suitable rental accommodation bears more heavily on people with marginal incomes, i t i s also a serious problem for other groups in the population - people who could afford a moderate rent but for whom home ownership is out of the question. A survey in 1901 of rooming houses in the West End and Downtown districts of Vancouver revealed that a large proportion of the families in li Annual Report, Vancouver City Social Service Department, 1950. 2 ' Warren A. Wilson, Housing Conditions Among Social Assistance  Families. Master of Social Work thesis, University of British Columbia, 1955. - 12 -the area could pay a normal economic rent (for an older house; i f the accommodation was available.^ Every family, except those who had just moved in, said they wished to move, and there was fairly clear evidence that they had been forced to accept their present accommodation simply because there was no other accommodation where children were accepted at rents they could afford to pay. A later survey made in the winter of 1952 and 1953 gave substant-2j ially the same picture. Most of the tenants surveyed appeared to re-gard their accommodation as a temporary makeshift until they could find something better. Only 15 per cent expressed themselves as satisfied with their accommodation as a permanent home. Of the remaining 85 per cent the majority were anxious to move immediately i f they could find better accommodation at a rent they could afford. Rents appeared to bear no re-lation to the quality of the accommodation provided and this was observed to be particularly true of accommodation rented to families with children. The reluctance of landlords to rent to families with children - and particularly to large families - has meant, for the most part, that the only accommodation available to this group is the kind which does not rent readily owing to its inferior quality. To date the building programme has shown l i t t l e response to this need for low and moderate rental housing. With the exception of special projects for veterans, and some small scale housing for older people, virtually no housing of this sort has been constructed since the war. The construction of the Little Mountain low-rental housing project marks the ^ Survey of Rooming Houses in the West End and Downtown Districts  of Vancouver, Vancouver Housing Association, December 1951, P«8 2 1 ' Survey of Families with Children Living in Shared Accommodation, Vancouver Housing Association, May 195£ - 13 -f i r s t step towards coping with the problem on a r e a l i s t i c basis. Plans for the project were originally made i n 1950 under the provision of the 191*9 amendments to the National Housing Act enabling the joint under-taking of rental projects, either on an economic or subsidized basis, by the Dominion and Provincial governments. The f i r s t of the 22k units did not become available, however, u n t i l A p r i l 1st, 1951*. The remaining units were f i l l e d as they were completed and by the end of the year there had been nearly eight times as many applicants as places. Even so, i t i s questionable whether a l l the families entitled to apply did so. The response to the questionnaire survey carried out by the City of Vancouver . in 19U9 had given some indication of the need for low and moderate rental housing.*' Although there was l i t t l e preparation of the public for the survey, over 2,500 replies were received from persons whose housing was unsatisfactory. Approximately two-thirds of the families who completed the questionnaire either wanted rental housing or had not sufficient income to permit house purchase. The task of estimating housing needs i s beset with d i f f i c u l t i e s of interpretation. Most of the discussion on housing i s by people who are themselves adequately housed, while the rate of private building i s respon-sive only to the demands of those who can afford to buy. How do other people make their housing needs felt? There i s reason to believe that a large portion of the demand for adequate housing i s not only not effective but also not vocal. People are often not aware of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s for improved housing and they tend to accept what they have. *^ In December, 191*9, at the time when a proposal for a subsidized low-rental housing programme was under discussion, the City of Vancouver Temporary Housing Authority t r i e d to assess housing requirements i n the City by means of a questionnaire p o l l . Questionnaire forms were circulated through the drug-stores and People were invited to complete them and return them to the Authority. -11* -We need to know more about such things as the amount of need, the kind of need, the types of families, and the indications for public housing or assisted home ownership. The establishment of the l i t t l e Mountain low-rental housing project offers unique opportunities for putting such questions to the test. Method of the Study By the end of 19$k over seven times as many applications had been received as there were suites available in the Little Mountain housing project. Not a l l of these applicants were eligible for entrance to the project, but the fact that they a l l regarded their existing accommodation as unsatisfactory indicated one dimension of the housing problem. In addition, a great deal of supplementary information on the social, economic, and housing circumstances of applicants was available from the forms re-quired for registration with the Vancouver Housing Authority. Accordingly, the present study attempts to clarify the uses that can be made of the kind of information available, and particularly the possibilities of giving greater precision and discrimination to the assessment of housing needs. By the end of 1951*, 171*2 applications had been received for the 22l* suites in the project. These applicants have special characteristics with regard both to income and housing conditions, and are only part of the total housing situation in Vancouver. By virtue of their application for low-rental housing, alone however, they demand special examination. As a preliminary to the examination of registration forms in the files of the Vancouver Housing Authority, such reports and statistics as were available were examined, to give perspective to the housing situation - 15 -in Vancouver generally, and the needs expressed by applicants for the Little Mountain project in particular. The Vancouver Housing Association has made a series of reports covering local housing, and these were re-viewed particularly for their bearing on (aj rental housing, (b) income limits, (c) family needs. Guided by these, Census statistics for housing, and population characteristics, supplemented by local statistics of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, were also used as a base in estimating the current aggregate housing shortage in metropolitan Van-couver. Permission was obtained from the Vancouver Housing Authority to examine the records held in the secretary-manager's office. The chief source of information was found to be the completed application form re-quired of a l l applicants; in many cases i t was the only record of a family's application. If the family was not eligible for entrance to the project on the basis of the application form i t was advised of this by letter. If eligible for consideration, the family was visited by a member of the Authority's staff who reported on the family's housing conditions and assessed the applicants' suitability as prospective tenants in the project. At the same time, details of family income were obtained and entered on a separate form. If, on the basis of the report, the family appeared to be a likely candidate for the project, additional confirmation of family earnings was obtained in writing from the applicant's employer. For every family reaching this stage in its registration there would be four completed forms on f i l e : (1) the i n i t i a l application form, (2) the Inspection Report, O) the Family Income Form, (k) the Income Verification Form. When the - 16 -application came before the board of the Vancouver Housing Authority for consideration a face-sheet would be attached to the other forms, summarizing the information on the family's suitability, i ts composition and income, and specifying the accommodation required, and the number of points rated by the family on the basis of need. It was possible, there-fore, to have as many as five forms relating to one family application, as well as, in some cases, correspondence from the applicant, or an interested person, in support of the application. At the other extreme were those cases in which the i n i t i a l application form provided the only source of information. The most usual number of forms per application was two? namely, the original application form and the Inspection Report made out by the representative of the Vancouver Housing Authority. Before abstracting data for statistical purposes, a l l the material available on each applicant was carefully examined to obtain as comprehen-sive a picture as possible of the family's circumstances. Care, too, was necessary in weighing and sifting this material, since the information from the several different sources was often in conflict and the writer had no means of verifying its accuracy. Discrepancies were most evident on the subject of family earnings; these discrepancies were not necessa-r i l y the result of deliberate misrepresentation by theapplicant but, more often than not, could be attributed to the lack of a uniform method in computing this item and to the inevitable fluctuations which occur in a family's earnings over a period of time. ' The lack of a standardized method in the collection and description of the material was again a 'For explanation of the method used in computing income see Appendix E. - 17 -handicap in the classification of the various types of dwellings. The possibility of discrepancy between the actual circumstances of a family and the recorded information could not be discounted, but, by cross-checking the several supplementary items of information, i t was possible to achieve a measure of uniformity and accuracy in the data selected for tabulation. It was orginally intended to tabulate the rent-income characteristics for the total number of applicants and, from a comparison of these data with the rent-income pattern for a l l wage-earner tenant households in Vancouver, to adumbrate the extent of the problem represented by applicant families. This kind of tabulation could also be used to check the validity of more refined statistical data based on sampling. The family size, rent and income characteristics were tabulated for 750 families before a re-organization of the fi l i n g system in the office of the Vancouver Housing Authority made i t impossible to follow through with this plan. The arrangement of the file s under the old f i l i n g system and the number of family applications sampled are shown in Appendix B^"J The 750 families sampled comprise half the number of applicants rejected by the Vancouver Housing Authority, plus half the number of applicants who were apparently eligible, plus a l l the applicants who were apparently eligible but who, for one reason or another, had failed to follow up their original application. A more significant division of applicants was achieved under the new fili n g system and the several categories of this are shown in Appendix B(2;. It was not possible after the re-organization of the files to identify the application forms of the 750 families previously sampled, and the limited - 18 -time available for the study prevented a fresh count being made of rent-income data for the total number of applicants. It was therefore decided to proceed immediately to the next step of tabulating the material in the application forms on a sample basis. In order to make this sample as representative as possible, one out of every five applications was examined in each of the categories (Appendix B(2; ). Families with incomes in excess of the maximum pres-cribed by the Authority were excluded from the sample in an attempt to make the study more representative of the housing problem of low-income families. In passing, i t is worthy of note that 307 families with incomes over $300 per month regarded their accommodation as unsatisfactory."^ Applications from single persons, engaged couples waiting to get married, and from non-family groups of persons, have also been excluded from the sample since they do not come within the scope of the present study. Housing problems for these people may be just as acute as for the normally constituted family and should be the subject of a separate study. The total number of family applications, excluding the two categories mentioned above and the 221* applicants who were successful in obtaining accommodation in Little Mountain, is 1169. The number of families included in the final sample is 2l|0, representing a sample of approximately one out of every five unsuccessful applications. The 22k families resident in The housing conditions and problems of this group of families would repay further study. It might provide an interesting commentary on the inadequacy of statistical data that is not supplemented by con-sideration of total family circumstances, e.g. temporary presence of more than one wage-earner in family; inability to secure adequate accommodation that is within their means despite relatively high income; seasonal work accounting for periodic "peaks" in income; the proportion of income these families feel prepared to spend on rent; & etc. - 19 -Little Mountain have not been included in either the sample of 750 families or the one of 2l*0 families, ' A separate tabulation of the income characteristics of the 22U successful applicants was made on the basis of a sample of one out of every two families. Examination of the forms suggested a tentative grouping of the information into three main areas. These were (a; family structure, (b) type and standard of accommodation, (c) family income and expenditure including amount spent on rent. A schedule was devised for transcribing this information on a separate card for each of the 2i*0 applicant families. The schedule (Appendix B) is classified into five sections for the sake of convenience in sorting and tabulation. The first section includes identifying information on the age, sex, and relationship of family members. The second section includes basic economic information with regard to the monthly earnings of the family head, supplementary incomes, cash or other assets, and the occupational status of the family head. The third section summarizes the accommodation picture} among items covered are the type of accommodation and whether i t is shared or private, fur-nished or otherwise; the inclusion of separate bathroom and kitchen, and whether these facilities are shared or private; the number of rooms, and length of residence. The fourth section specifies the type of tenure, the monthly rent, and whether utilities are included with rent. The f i f t h section attempts to evaluate the quality of the accommodation and i t s adequacy for the family's needs; the material is largely subjective and consists either in the applicant's expressed reasons for wishing to move li For convenience of reference the abbreviations LMA'A' and IMA 'B' will be used throughout the study to indicate res-pectively the sample of 700 families and the sample of 2k0 families. - 20 -or i n the observations of the Vancouver Housing Authority's represent-ative. The content of the schedule was determined by the consideration that i n a number of cases the i n i t i a l application form would be the only available source of information. Wherever possible, this information has been supplemented from other sources to produce as definitive an account as possible of the applicants' circumstances. Because of the impossibi-l i t y of checking actual circumstances against the recorded information a number of marginal cases have had to be settled by regard to the nature of the internal evidence of the records. As the study progressed, i t became evident that a merely routine tabulation of the material would f a i l to elucidate the real nature of the housing problem posed by these families. Three major aspects to the problem were identified, each one important i n i t s e l f , but needing to be viewed i n relation to the other two for i t s f u l l significance to be ' appreciated. These aspects include (a) the quality and adequacy of the housing occupied, (bj rent levels and their relation to family earnings, (e) differences i n family needs as determined by the differences i n family size and structure. These aspects are focussed clearly i n the study and the tables are designed and sorted i n such a way as both to separate them for examination and to interrelate them where appropriate. An interesting feature that emerged early i n the survey was the relatively low rent levels i n comparison with what families could actually afford to pay. One effect of this observation was to focus attention on the two aspects of housing conditions and family needs, which, i n turn, i. raised new problems of operational definition and measurement. - 21 -Even under the most favourable research conditions such material as we are here dealing with presents d i f f i c u l t i e s . There are limits, for example, to the extent to which housing inadequacy i n relation to family needs can be indicated s t a t i s t i c a l l y . Similarly, the influence of "consumer preference" i n determining the conditions under which a family lives may be recognized as important, but how far this i s true when incomes are severely limited, and there i s no great range of choice (for low-rental accommodation; i s another matter. The present study does not attempt to answer a l l these questions. Whatever other l i g h t may be thrown, i t i s primarily an exploration of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s ol measuring a body of information which, with a l l i t s limitations, has made possible for the f i r s t time a r e a l i s t i c appraisal of the housing problems of a significant portion of Vancouver's families. Unless otherwise indicated, tables have been compiled from information i n the registration forms of applicant families. Income and rent figures have been rounded to the nearest dollar. CHAPTER 2 FAMILIES IN NEED AND THEIR HOUSING CONDITIONS I t i s important to have some idea of the kind of families applying for entrance to. the L i t t l e Mountain project, since family size and composition largely determine the nature of the housing problem. "Dwelling unit" and "average size of family" are convenient units for estimating the dimensions of the housing shortage,, but they are inade-qute as concepts i n defining housing needs. Homes are made up of fami-l i e s with different needs and resources, and this variation introduces into the housing problem differentials that are of fundamental import-ance. The housing requirements of the large family with three or more children w i l l be different from those of the couple with one child; and -an equally important consideration - the family with two parents i n the home and the father i n steady employment w i l l have a better chance of finding adequate accommodation than the broken family i n which the mother is dependent on part-time work or on some form of allowance. Moreover, families are subject to growth and change and as new members are added and children grow up so w i l l their housing needs change. These are the re a l i t i e s of the "housing problem" which are s t i l l not sufficiently taken care of i n many approaches to the subject. Family Composition In order to qualify for entrance to the L i t t l e Mountain project, applicants must be "natural families consisting of a family head and one or more other persons related to the head: by birth, marriage or legal adoption." ^' No maximum l i m i t to the size of family allowed has been Memorandum of the Vancouver Housing Authority - 23 -setj but since 3-bedroom units are the largest provided in the project, most families of more than six persons are automatically excluded. Several families consisting of seven or more persons did make application, however, and a proportion of these have been included in both samples in the belief that they are representative of a group whose housing difficul-ties are often the most intractable but whose needs are most frequently ignored. Three kinds of families can be distinguished, when examination of the actual cases is undertaken. It will be convenient to refer to these as 'Normal', Broken, and Composite families. Table 3 Family Composition of Applicants (Sample LMA 'B'j Type of Family Number I. 'Normal' Families Married couples, no children Two parents with 1 child 30 6 9 6 1 18 2 children 3 children k or more children II. Broken Families One parent with 1 child 19 15 2 7 2 children 3 children k or more children 2 III.Composite Households(a; (a; Composite households in which husband & wife are joint heads (bj Composite households which have only one parent as head 11 6 TOTAL FAMILIES 2U0 (a; Families (with or without children; maintaining . common household with relative(sj. - 2U -The most typical family grouping i s the 'normal' family consisting of husband and wife with either one or two children; 70 per cent of the parents i n this group are under 35 years of age (Table 2) and the majority of the children are under school age. Among normal families with 3 children, 55 per cent of the parents are under 35 years of age, and in' most cases two of the three children are under school age. As the number of children i n the family increases beyond three, the age of the parents has a tendency to move into the middle age group of 36-55 years. Both samples revealed the number of norma] families having one or more children i n employment to be relatively few, and no significant difference accord-ing to the size of family was noted i n this respect. Of the 30 married couples eleven are Old Age Pensioners, and the majority of the remainder are past middle age and l i v i n g on limited incomes. These la t t e r families represent the closing phases of the family cycle; when children have l e f t home to establish families of their own and the parents are faced with considerable readjustments i n their way of l i f e , not least of which i s the problem of finding a suitable place to l i v e . Table h HEADS OF FAMILIES: DISTRIBUTION ACCORDING TO AGE GROUP AND TYPE OF FAMILY  (Sample LMA 'B'; H e a d s o f F a m i i i e s T o t a 1 Age Group Composite Households!a; i 1Normal'Families Broken Families a b No. P.C. Up to 35 years 107 9 2 5 123 51.3 36 yrs - 55 yrs 22 2 5 73 30. ii 56 yrs & over 3U 7 2 l Uh 18.3 TOTALS 185 38 6 l l 21*0 100 (a) a: 'normal' families plus relative(sj; b: broken families plus relative(s; - 25 -Although not numerous as a group, the composite family occurs frequently enough in both samples to merit separate consideration. Most public and private housing projects are designed for a particular type of family, known in the technical literature as the "nuclear family", and consisting of a husband, wife, and their children (.if any; plus an occasional temporary additional member of the household, such as the wife's mother or husband's brother. In American society at the present time, this nuclear family is the most common kinship unit, having dis-placed in importance the old kind of composite family group which often included two generations of families living in the one house. It is evident from the families sampled that the composite family household i s by no means anachronistic and that i t continues to serve a necessary purpose. Several of these families are made up of a widowed or separated mother and her children, living with the mother's parents or, in some cases, living with the family of a married sister. Another common arrange-ment is the composite family which includes either one or both of the grandparents. The distinguishing feature of this type of family structure is that i t embodies a permanent living arrangement in contrast with the temporary arrangements which a young married couple might make to live with 'in-laws' until they are able to find a place of their own. Whether the composite family group arises out of choice or necessity is a question with considerable implications for the happiness and well-being of each of its membersj but more precise information would be required to answer this question for each of the composite households sampled. The family in its broadest aspects s t i l l constitutes the major resource in periods of stress, - 26 -and the number of widowed or separated mothers with children found among the composite families suggests that this might be one explanation for two families l i v i n g together. Probably a mixture of social, emotional, and economic considerations influence a person's decision to l i v e i n someone else's home. The important question i s whether lack of suitable alternative accommodation at a rent which they can afford prevents these people from establishing homes of their own. Whatever the reasons for i t s existence, the composite family f i l l s a definite role among applicants f o r the L i t t l e Mountain project, and requires the same discriminative approach with regard to i t s housing needs as do other types of family structure. For the purposes of this study i t i s convenient to distinguish two kinds of composite families: composite families which have husband and wife as joint heads of the household and composite families which have only one parent as head. The foregoing discussion has been concerned with the f i r s t category. The second category belongs properly to the group of broken families and i n view of the special circumstances of this group i t s several aspects w i l l be considered separately l a t e r i n the study. In summary, three kinds of family grouping can be distinguished among applicant families:(a) the 'normal' family, (b) the broken family and (cj the composite family. The family comprising husband and wife with either one or two children, both of whom are usually under school age, predominates. The average age of parents tends to be low, 5 5 per cent of fathers i n the normal family group being under 3 5 years of age. In their occupations applicants show a f a i r l y representative cross-section of the wage-earner population, with a preponderance of family - 27 -heads being engaged i n unskilled service occupations, or i n m i l l or construction work. 52 heads of families (excluding the group of broken families) had not held regular full-time employment because of lay-offs or the seasonal nature of their work during the twelve months prior to their application. In 22 families the family heads income consisted of some form of pension, while for another six families i t was either severely curtailed or non-existent because of sickness or unemploymentj in two cases the husband was attending University. Despite the predominance of the family type consisting of husband and wife with one or two children, there are sufficient differences i n family composition and i n family circumstances among applicants to under-line the central theme of this study, v i z . that there are qualitative as well as quantitative components to the housing problem as i t impinges upon each family that need to be considered. Housing Conditions Housing conditions are as important to a family as the amount of rent they pay. Although there i s a wide difference of opinion (depending mostly on custom and level of income) as to what constitutes an adequate standard of comfort or amenity, certain basic requirements of housing are now accepted as essential for the promotion of physical, mental and social health. These requirements have to do with the location of the dwelling, the provision of adequate heat, l i g h t and ventilation, of adequate sleeping f a c i l i t i e s and l i v i n g space, and of protection against accidents and con-tagion.-1) These are requirements that need to be met i n the housing of a l l !) Housing Policy, "....housing standards, the organization and financing of low-cost housing and the relation of house b u i l -ding to the general level of employment....", International Labour Office, Montreal (19U5), pp.5-8. - 28 -families, irrespective of income, and are not to be confused "with an ' adequate standard of comfort defined i n terms of what a family i s 1 able to afford. Unfortunately, i t frequently happens that low and moder-ate income families not only spend a larger proportion of their income on rent than do higher income families, but they also get less housing i n terms of these basic requirements for their money. The slum provides the most dramatic evidence of what happens when poor housing i s coupled with the problems of l i v i n g on a marginal income. Long before that extreme i s reached, however, the effects of inadequate housing are f e l t i n increased family tensions, fatigue, i l l - h e a l t h and i n the constant frustrations of a normal family l i f e . I t has been convenient for greater c l a r i t y of analysis to divide the 2kO families i n sample IMA 'B' into two broad categories of 'normal' and broken families, and within these two categories to tabulate them according to the number of persons i n the family irrespective of the relationships between individual members (Table J>). Thus, a four-person family does not necessarily indicate a family of two parents plus two childrenj i t may represent two parents and a child and a relative. Families have been tabulated according to size rather than composition for greater convenience i n considering overcrowding i n i t s broader aspects. However, i n calculating overcrowding from the point of view of bedroom accommodation due consideration has been given to the age and sex of family members. - 29 -Table 5 SIZE OF FAMILIES (PERSONS) (Sample LMA 'B') Family Size Number 'Normal' families 2 persons i n family 3 n it k " ?' 5 or more 30 69 61* 28 •NORMAL* FAMILIES 191 Broken families 2 persons i n family 3 n n ll » " 5 or more 19 20 5 5 BROKEN FAMILIES 1*9 TOTAL CASES 21*0 Types of Accommodation The heterogeneity of Vancouver's housing stock i s reflected i n "the types of accommodation occupied by the families sampled. The four ™ ^ types are set out below but for each one of these there are considerable modifications. Single-family houses 20 per cent. Shared single-family houses 12 per cent Apartment or suite h$ per cent Rooms 17 per cent. (3 families were l i v i n g i n auto-courts and one family occupied a cabin). The majority of families occupy a suite or apartment/, which may be anything from a self-contained unit i n a modern apartment block to a converted garage. There are very few families occupying bona fide apartments i n the sense that the accommodation forms part of a building originally constructed for rental purposes. Most of the suites are i n converted single-family houses which are either used exclusively for revenue purposes or which provide the owner with accommodation as well. A significant number of suites are found to be basement suites and most of these are unsuitable for families. In a l l probability they violate municipal health and zoning by-laws, and the fact that they do exist i s one indication of the acute shortage of the right kind of rental accommodation. The number of families of 3 or more persons occupying rooms (Table k) i s disturbing since this kind of accommodation i s probably the most inimical to good family l i v i n g . Rooms may either be situated i n a regular "rooming" house or be part of a single-family house rented out 2) for that purpose. U Applicant families appear to use theee two terms interchangeably and, indeed, i t i s sometimes d i f f i c u l t to say where a suite ends and an apartment begins. For the purpose of this study, therefore, a l l accommodation of two or more rooms, whether originally built to rent or converted to that use, i s referred to as a suite i f i t includes a separate kitchen for the exclusive use of the family and a bath-room (which be either private or shared). 2) 'Those families which described themselves as l i v i n g i n rooming houses, or where this fact emerged from the Inspector•s Report, were automa-t i c a l l y c l a s s i f i e d as occupying rooms. In some instances, however, this fact had to be deduced from other items of information contained i n the application form. A family was assumed to be l i v i n g i n rooms i f i t s accommodation did not include a private and separate kitchen. Such cases would include not only families sharing the use of a kitchen with another family but also those for whom the l i v i n g room served as a kitchen as well. - 31 -Table 6 DISTRIBUTION OF FAMILIES OF DIFFERENT SIZES AMONG THE VARIOUS TYPES OF ACCOMMODATION No.of families l i v i n g i n Persons i n Family Single Shared Single Apartment/ Rooms Other Total House House Suite 'Normal' families 2 9 1 10 8 3 30 3 11 9 39 9 1 69 1* 10 8 3k 12 6U. $ or more 9 $ 11 3 28 •NORMAL' FAMILIES 38 23 32 1* 191 Broken families 2 1 2 10 6 19 3 1* k 9 3 20 1* 3 2 5" 5 or more 2 2 1 $ BROKEN FAMILIES 10 6 23 10 1*9 TOTAL 1*8 29 117 1*2 1* 21*0 (a) Includes Auto courts and cabins A rooming house i s not the ideal environment for children to grow up i n . Their opportunities for normal, healthy development suffer from the confined quarters, and they are particularly exposed to the demoraliz-ing effects of the lack of privacy within the home and between the various tenant groups. By i t s very function of catering for transients, the rooming house discourages any feelings of s t a b i l i t y or permanence. For many families i t exists as a temporary resting place i n the never ending quest for adequate accommodation at a rent which they can afford. By the time the rent i s reckoned up for each room i t may not even represent cheap - 32 -accommodation for the low income family, but because i t i s usually furnished, i t i s the only kind of accommodation which many of these families without furniture of their own can consider. Whether the rooms are i n a rooming house or are rented i n a single-family house, this kind of accommodation i s l i k e l y to show the worst features of overcrowding. Washing f a c i l i t i e s have to be shared with several other families, and the f a c i l i t i e s for storing and cooking food are usually totally inadequate for a family. Under these conditions housekeeping becomes not only unnecessarily expensive, but an unrelieved chore for the mother, whose reaction to the excessive strains i s l i a b l e to take the form of a punitive and restrictive attitude toward the children. A l l but two of the total families sampled paid rent. The two exceptions were making monthly mortgage payments on houses which they were unable to maintain either because of the i l l - h e a l t h or desertion of the husband. D i f f i c u l t y i n meeting the rent and the cost of u t i l i -ties (especially heating costs) was a frequent complaint among families l i v i n g i n single family houses. A l l things being equal, there i s no question that the single-family house offers the most suitable accommod-ation for families with children, but as was apparent from the l i v i n g conditions of the families sampled, the single family house i s subject to as many variations i n quality and u t i l i t y as any of the other kinds of accommodation. Houses ranged i n size from two rooms to eight rooms, the average being a house of 3 rooms plus kitchen. There was no tendency for large families to occupy the larger houses and i t i s significant that even i n what at f i r s t sight appears to be the most suitable accommodation - 33 -for family l i v i n g , ten of the ho families complained of overcrowding. Three of the houses had been condemned and were to be demolished, while i n ten others the structural defects made for unsanitary l i v i n g conditions. Two families found i t inconvenient to l i v e i n a house because of physical d i s a b i l i t y and the d i f f i c u l t y of climbing stairs. •With the exception of houses renting for $65 or more per month, there appeared to be no correlation between the amount of rent paid and the quality of the house. Rents on the whole were no greater than for other kinds of accommodation and, apart from those cases where the quality of the house did not j u s t i f y a higher rent, many of the rents must have been kept a r t i f i c i a l l y low by rent control. Three of the families had actually been notified that their rents would be raised as soon as rent control lapsed; seven families had been given notice to quit, either because the owner wanted the house for his own use or to rent to new tenants at a higher rent, or because the property was up for sale. That uncertainty of tenure i s not the concern only of families occupying suites or rooms i s evident from the information given i n the application form by families l i v i n g i n single-family houses. Several families f e l t under pressure from the landlord to move, even though no formal notice to quit had been received; others, who had been forced to take a house at a high rent because this was the only suitable accommodation they could f i n d i n which children were accepted, regarded their residence as temporary u n t i l such time as they were able to f i n d a place more within their means. Besides the more usual types of accommodation, a further category of "shared single-family house" i s used i n this study. Although i t would -3k-have been possible to distribute the families included under this head among the other types of accommodation, their circumstances are sufficient-l y exceptional to j u s t i f y separate consideration; they may even provide a clue to the query raised i n the f i r s t part of this chapter as to whether the members of a composite family l i v e together by choice or of necessity. The majority of families sampled i n this category l i v e with relatives and occupy one or, at the most, two bedrooms, while sharing the bathroom and kitchen f a c i l i t i e s of the house. Overcrowded l i v i n g conditions and the resultant lack of privacy are mentioned most frequently by these tenants as their reason for wishing to move, while i n a few cases the incentive comes from the "host" family which may require the whole house for i t s own use. In spite of the definite advantages of economy and convenience which this kind of arrangement offered to some families,"1'^ i t i s s i g n i f i -cant that a l l expressed a wish to move when the opportunity of alternative accommodation presented i t s e l f . On this evidence i t i s reasonable to suppose that they would have moved before i f suitable accommodation had been available at a rent which they f e l t able to afford. Overcrowding and Doubling-Up Overcrowded l i v i n g conditions are among the most disabling i n their effect on family l i f e . Apart altogether from the risks involved to phy-si c a l health, they are a constant source of emotional strain, causing the inevitable family frictions to be magnified out of a l l proportion. The *) In two families the family head was unemployed and i n three others had an income of less than $160 per month. The financial and practical advantages of this kind of arrangement fo r the widowed or separated mother are obvious; i t provides her with help i n caring f o r the children and enables her, i f necessary, to go out to work. Several of the families sampled were pro-vided with f u l l board and lodging and i n these cases the rent was usually a nominal sum included i n the total payment. - 35 -resulting lack of privacy i s demoralizing both for parents and children, and the intensification of personal contacts which occurs under these conditions i s not conducive to the development of satisfying personal relationships* By means of Tables 1 and 8 , the accommodation picture for the group of 'normal' families i s shown i n several ways: according to type of accommodation; and according to dwelling-unit size"^ and size of the families. The rooms enumerated do not include kitchen or bathroom, so that the pattern of overcrowding, measured by the standard of more than one person per l i v i n g room, shows up clearly. A l l the families to the l e f t of the stepped line (Table 8) have accommodation which provides less than one room per person. Table 7 DISTRIBUTION OF CROWDED FAMILIES, ACCORDING .. .TO. SIZE AND TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION .. Type of Accommodation Size of Family Single Shared Single Apartment/ (persons) Houses House Suite Rooms Other Total 2 1 2 7 3 13 3 2 9 33 9 1 51* h 7 5 32 12 56 5 3 5 10 1 19 6 or more 6 1 2 9 TOTAL 18 20 78 31 U 151 1) The number of rooms shown measures the l i v i n g rooms occupied by the family not the size of the dwelling. The lat t e r may be larger ( i f there are other tenants); likewise, kitchen or bathroom may be shared. - 36 -Table 8 SCALE OF ACCOMMODATION (Size of family compared with number of rooms) Persons in family Numb 1 2 e r 3 o f 1* R 0 o m s 6 or more Total 2 13 8 , 7 2 30 3 16 38 12 2 1 69 1* 12 31* 10 I 8 61* •5 2 10 7 1 19 6 or more 2 1 l 9 TOTAL 1*3 92 1*1 13 1 1 191 Among the 191 normal families sampled, the overall rate of (living-room) overcrowding is 79 per cent. The measurement of over-crowding by the standard of one person per room, even though these ex-clude kitchen and bathroom, which in practice are not always available to tenants, is useful only as a fi r s t approximation. The condition of each room, its cubic capacity, its adequacy with regard to light and heat, etc. as well as the sex and age of the members of the family, would have to be taken into account to give a really accurate figure for each dwelling unit. Such detail was not feasible but the figure of 79 per cent is sufficient in itself to indicate the seriousness of the problem for applicant families. Overcrowding is least prevalent among families occupying single houses: for each of the other three types of accommodation - (1) shared single houses, (2) apartments and suites, and (3) "rooms" - the rate of overcrowding (applying the standard of one person per room) i s well over 80 per cent; and, in the case of families living in rooms, as much as 96 per cent. These rates would seem excessive i f i t were not for the fact that much of the accommodation is suitable only for individuals rather - 37 -than families with children. An important aspect to overcrowding i s the amount of bedroom accommodation available to families. Accordingly a more detailed review of the cards was made for each of the families sampled, permitting the calculation of overcrowding i n terms of sleeping-accommodation and i n relation to the age and sex composition of each family. The standard applied was not r i g i d . It assumed that an infant might share the same bedroom with the parents without this constituting overcrowding. More-over, i n the case of children under 6 years of age, i t allowed for the use of the l i v i n g room as a bedroom at night. This, of course, i s a frequent practice but i t has obvious disadvantages i n terms both of health and of convenience. The standard does not prescribe separate sleeping accommodation for children of different sex u n t i l school age (six years or older). Table 9 OVERCROWDING JUDGED BY SLEEPING ACCOMMODATION: DISTRIBUTION AMONG FAMILIES OF DIFFERENT SIZE. Size of Family Total Number of Number of Over- Percentage of Over-(persons) Families crowded Families crowded families P C 2 30 13 .1*3.3 3 69 25 36.2 1* 61* h9 76.5 5 or more 28 25 89.2 TOTAL 191 112 58.6 The ratios of overcrowding are lower than by the living-room standard, though s t i l l sizeable enough (58.6 per cent of a l l cases) and - 38 -rising very markedly for the larger families. Even for families with only one child the overcrowding in sleeping accommodation is more than one family out of three, and for families with three or more children only one out of ten has adequate sleeping space. Families Doubling-up Under pressure of housing shortage i t is commonly necessary for families to share accommodation with others. Over 17 per cent (Table 10) of the 'normal1 families sampled have had recourse to this expedient. The greate part of this group is made up of families living with "in-laws" but i t also includes families who are sharing a single family house with another non-related family, and a few who are renting one of their rooms to a lodger. Table 10 DOUBLED-UP FAMILIESW DISTRIBUTION ACCORDING TO SIZE Total Number Families living Percentage of Size of Family of in Families in (persons) Families Shared Accommodation Shared Accommodation PC 2 30 3 10.0 3 69 11 15.9 1* 6h 1U 21.8 5 or more 28 5 17.8 TOTAL 191 33 17.2 (a) Includes families sharing accommodation with relatives or non-relatives j families taking in lodgers, and families provided with board and lodging. - 39 -Table 11 BATHROOM AND KITCHEN FACILITIES: DISTRIBUTION OF FAMILIES Persons i n Family Total Number Families Sharing Bathroom Kitchen Families Using Living Room as Kitchen 2 30 1U 1 5 3 69 31 9 1* h 6k 30 7 5 f> or more 28 11 3 1 TOTAL 191 86 20 15 Besides the fact that i t affords accommodation which wouldn't otherwise be available, this kind of arrangement i s often resorted to as a means of achieving some economy i n the rent. It i s seldom a desirable arrangement, however, being accompanied usually by overcrowding (86.9 per cent of families i n shared single houses were overcrowded) and the commu-nal use of kitchen and bathing and t o i l e t f a c i l i t i e s . A disquieting feature i n this case i s the higher proportion of families with two or more children who are doubling-up. It should not be necessary to elabo-rate on the tensions implicit i n such a situation. That a l l these families were sharing of necessity, and not by choice, i s evident from their application for alternative accommodation when the opportunity arose. Housing Conditions of Broken Families For the broken family with only one parent i n the home the influences of good or bad housing are particularly pronounced. These families lack the usual resources available to the normal family, and the -ir-responsibility for coping with day to day problems falls exclusively on the mother. When the situation is aggravated by poor housing con-ditions - as i t frequently is because of their low rent-paying capacity -the consequences in terms of emotional and physical development become especially grave. Among the families sampled, about one-fifth have only one parent, the size of the family ranging from two persons to seven persons. The most typical composition is that of the mother with either one or two children. The family head may be either a deserted wife or a widow and nearly UO per cent are dependent on some form of pension or allowance while another 10 per cent have no income at a l l . The majority of children are either of school age or under, but i t is not unusual for a family to include one or two children who are working. In a number of other cases one of the grandparents lives with the family and this probably constitutes one of the more convenient arrangements for the broken family. If the grandparent is in receipt of a pension this provides a valuable supplement to the family's budget. About k6 per cent of the broken families occupy suites, and the greater part of the remainder are equally distributed between single houses and rooming accommodation. A smaller proportion are sharing accommodation with relatives - an expedient which this kind of family often has to resort to because of its inability to pay an economic rent, or because of the need for someone to take care of the children while the mother works. In general, overcrowding does not pose such a problem for broken families as i t does for the group of normal families. On the basis of rooms - ia -per person, about one-half of the families have inadequate l i v i n g space (Table )j i n terms of bedroom accommodation the rate of overcrowding i s somewhat lower (approximately 38 per cent). The p a r t i -cular composition of the broken family accounts for their lower rate of crowding compared with normal families. A family of four persons, only one of which i s an adult, requires less sleeping accommodation than the equivalent-sized family with two adults i n i t . Even so, the rate of overcrowding among broken families consisting of three persons i s ex-cessive (55> per cent), and for larger families of five or more persons the rate i s 100 per cent. I t i s worth noting that a l l except one of the families l i v i n g i n rooming houses are overcrowded and that the majority of these families occupy only one room. It i s important to emphasize that the problem of overcrowding for broken families, although less pronounced than for normal families, i s s t i l l a sizeable one. Moreover the fact that a larger proportion of these families have sufficient l i v i n g space does not mean that they enjoy i n general a superior standard of accommodation. The choice of housing available to these families i s severely limited by the low rent that they can afford, and for the most part their accommodation tends to be of a low quality characterized by a high incidence of structural inadequacies and poor f a c i l i t i e s . - 1*2 -Table 12 DISTRIBUTION OF CROWDED FAMILIES ACCORDING TO SIZE AND TYPE OF ACCOMODATION Size of Family Single Shared Single Apartment/ (persons) House House Suite Rooms Other Total 2 1 1 5 7 3 1 3 1* 3 11 1* 2 2 5 or more 2 2 1 5 TOTAL 2 5 Table 13 SCALE OF ACCOMMODATION (Size of family compared with number of rooms) Persons in Number of Rooms (excluding kitchen) " ~ Family 1__ 2 3 1* 5 6 or more Total 2 7 3 6 1* 1 5 or more 9 2 i i i 19 20 5 5 TOTAL 11* 16 12 1*9 Table 11* OVERCROWDING JUDGED BY SLEEPING ACCOMMODATION: DISTRIBUTION AMONG FAMILIES OF DIFFERENT SIZE. Size of Family (persons) Total Number of Families Number of Oyer- Percentage of crowded Families Overcrowded Families P.C. 2 19 5 2 6 . 3 3 20 l i 5 5 . 1* 5 l 2 0 . 5 or more 5 2 1*0. TOTAL 1*9 19 38.7 - U3 -Table 1 5 DQUBLED-UP FAMILIES: DISTRIBUTION ACCORDING TO SIZE Size of Family (persons) Total Number of Families Families living in shared accommodation Percentage of Families in shared accommodation P.C. 2 19 2 10.5 3 20 6 30.0 k* 10 ~ TOTAL k9 8 16.3 Table 16 BATHROOM AND KITCBEN FACILITIES: DISTRIBUTION OF FAMILIES Size of Family Total Families Sharing Families Using Living (persons) Number Bathroom Kitchen Room as Kitchen 2 19 1 1 2 1 3 20 1 1 3 U. 5 1 1 5 or more 5 2 TOTAL k9 25 5 2 Housing Inadequacies in Relation to Family Needs, Income and Rent It is impossible to discuss housing conditions without making some attempt to evaluate the adequacy of the accommodation available. The task i s complicated, however, by difficulties of definition and of measurement. Most criteria of adequacy are arbitrary, resting chiefly on personal opinion, and of this there can be as many variants as persons. Similarly, although i t is possible to assess some factors by applying objective standards similar to those employed above to measure the amount of overcrowding, there are other aspects to inadequacy which are not amenable to ordinary methods of measurement. How does one measure, for example, the inconvenience to a family of having i t s kitchen and t o i l e t f a c i l i t i e s on one floor and i t s sleeping accommodation on another? Above a l l , how do the tenants themselves regard their accommodation? Clearly there are two major aspects to the matter of housing inadequacy that need to be considered: these are (a) the quality of the accommodat-ion and of the environment and (b) the particular needs of each family. Detailed appraisal of the accommodation occupied by applicant families was not feasible, but information available i n the registration forms permitted certain summary measurements to be made of the more salient features of their housing conditions. An important element i n these measurements are the reasons given by applicants for wishing to move, since these help to interpret the conditions i n terms of people's lives and homes. Examination of the forms showed that i t would be desirable to distinguish five indices of housing inadequacy: (A) Structural and Environmental, (B) F a c i l i t i e s , (c) <>ercrowding, (D) Family l i v i n g , (E) Economic."^ This classification was followed i n tallying the d e f i -ciencies recorded for each family i n the schedule, andby means of this i t was possible to determine which characteristics of housing inadequacy occurred most frequently. I t was also possible to ascertain the d i s t r i -bution of these inadequacies for each of the family groupings. Accommodation was considered structurally defective i f there was clear evidence of this i n the information furnished by the applicant The items used as measurements of these indices are l i s t e d at the end of this Chapter. - us -(confirmed where possible, by the Inspection Report). Several families had applied for the L i t t l e Mountain housing project because their present housing had been condemned, or was about to be demolished. Others were occupying accommodation that was damp and a menace to health (most of the basement suites were this ) , while, i n some cases, the buildings con-stituted a f i r e hazard. Complaints of inadequate heating, of defective washing and t o i l e t f a c i l i t i e s and of inadequate hot water supplies were common. Some of the housing was so old and delapidated as to be structu-r a l l y unsound with sagging foundations, cracked walls and broken flooring. Dark and i l l - v e n t i l a t e d rooms were a noticeable feature of houses converted to multiple occupancy, and a frequent additional complaint i n these cases was the unsuitability of the neighbourhood for bringing up a family. Judged according to the presence of either one or several of these factors, over one-third of the dwellings sampled f a i l e d to provide adequate accom-modation. •Fa c i l i t i e s ' refers to kitchen, bathroom and t o i l e t arrangements. Themajority of families had separate use of a t o i l e t but the communal use of bathing f a c i l i t i e s was widespread. The sharing of a bathroom need not of course constitute unsuitable conditions i f the equipment i s sound, cleanliness and privacy are maintained, and the water supply i s ef f i c i e n t . But i t can create serious problems of inconvenience, especially to the mother with young children, i f the f a c i l i t i e s are loeated on another floor, or i f conditions are substandard or overcrowded i n other respects. An important factor i n the situation i s the large amount of converted accommo-dation occupied by applicant families, for the sharing of bathing f a c i l i t i e s i s often only one aspect of generally inadequate adaptation. Almost a l l - U 6 -of the families who were doubling-up were sharing kitchen f a c i l i t i e s . A number of other families (7 per cent) had no proper kitchen at a l l -the one room being used for l i v i n g , sleeping and eating purposes. I t may be said that inadequate f a c i l i t i e s of one kind or another are a part of the housing picture for approximately 36 per cent of the families sampled. Overcrowding shows up as the most serious of a l l the problems with which families have to contend. I t i s prevalent i n a l l types of accommo-dation and i s not confined only to the old and deteriorated properties. Naturally when overcrowding i s a l l i e d with structural inadequacies and poor f a c i l i t i e s , the consequences for the day;-to-day welfare of the r e s i -dents are even more serious. The standard applied i n calculating over-crowding was comparatively low, being based on bedroom needs related to age and sex composition of the children (as defined above). By this standard 55 per cent of the families surveyed were l i v i n g i n overcrowded conditions. Measured by the l i v i n g room standard, the proportion of over-crowded families i s closer to three-quarters of the sample. An interesting sidelight i s thrown on the whole question of stan-dards by comparing the reasons given by applicants for wishing to move with their actual housing conditions. On the one hand, a number of fami-l i e s described themselves as overcrowded even though, measured i n terms of l i v i n g room and sleeping accommodation, there was no evidence of this; conversely, when overcrowding quite obviously existed and was confirmed by the Inspection Report, this factor was frequently not included among the reasons for wishing to move. In such cases the reason given for applying for L i t t l e Mountain was usually the termination of the family's present - U7 -tenancy. The different c r i t e r i a obviously employed by these two groups serve to i l l u s t r a t e one particular d i f f i c u l t y i n evaluating housing i n -adequacy. They also indicate the inevitable lowering of standards which occurs when families habitually have to make do with poor housing con-ditions. Under the index 'Family Living' an attempt has been made to assess a different kind of material from that discussed so far; namely, the Impact of inadequate housing on family l i f e . The items used as measure-ments of this index are v i r t u a l l y transcripts of some of the reasons quoted by applicants for wishing to move, and accordingly depict the situation as i t appears to the families themselves. The most marked cause of disturbance of family l i f e centred on the d i f f i c u l t i e s of bringing up children i n the accommodation available to these families. The d i f f i c u l t i e s might be brought about either by the physical unsuitability of the accommodation and neighbourhood, or by the reluctance of landlords to rent to families with children. A number of young married couples had been given notice to quit after the birth of their f i r s t child. I t i s f a i r to point out, however, that i n these cases much of the accommodation would have been unsuitable i n any case once children were added to the family. Obviously the problem i s not entirely one of unsympathetic landlords, but of a general shortage of suitable family rental accommodation. The problem becomes especially d i f f i c u l t to resolve for the large family; i t was noteworthy that among such families sampled several had been forced to board-out one of two of their children because of their i n a b i l i t y to find adequate housing for the whole family. In a number of cases families had moved several times within the previous - U8 -two years, moving from one kind of makeshift accommodation to another, and the wish was expressed for an opportunity to establish some more permanent residence. Complaints about lack of privacy were common, and in some cases applicants specifically referred to the detrimental effect which the accommodation was having on relationships within the family. As might be expected, lack of privacy and strained family relationships were chiefly associated with overcrowded and shared l i v i n g conditions. Direct evidence, i n one or other of these forms, of the bearing of inadequate housing on family l i f e figured i n nearly one-fifth of the cases sampled. Economic factors predominated i n approximately 28 per cent of cases. Examples of high rents were relatively few, but a number of f a -milies considered their rent excessive i n terms of the kind of accommodat-ion they were occupying, while others found that heavy fuel costs made an otherwise moderate rent excessive. Several families had either had their rents raised or had been notified of an increase, and i n each case the amounts were substantial enough to place the accommodation outside their means. A significant number of families mentioned the d i f f i c u l t y of finding suitable accommodation where children were accepted at rents they could afford to pay. Clearly, whichever expedient these families resort to - paying an excessive rent or accepting inferior accommodation -the problem remains for them essentially a budget one. By means of the kind of classification described above i t i s possible to evaluate the adequacy of the accommodation i n summary form, but p a r t i -cularly to relate i t to three differentials: the rent paid for the accom-modation, the composition of the family and the family income (Table 17). These specifics are a l l important and part of the "housing problem" for low and moderate income families. - 19 -Table 17. Relationship Between Types of Families, Incomes, and Rents, and  Percentages of Housing Inadequacies ~~ (Sample L.M.A.'B') Type of Family Median Income Monthly Rent Percentage with Inade I n d 1 c e qua^e Housing Chief-Earner Family Income Median Quartile Range A B C D E ! 9 s I P.C. P.C. P.C. P.C. P.C. 'Normal' Families with up to 2 children 230 2bl U6 39 - 65' 29.3 3U.3 51.U 2U.3 31.8 with 3 or more children 2U6 250 37 30 - U9 36.0 UU.O 80.0 32.0 20.0 Total Broken. Families 155 170 36 30 - 60 U2.5 U2.5 ao.i IU.6 27.6 (a) Broken Families excluding composite broken house-holds 157 165 35 30 - 58 U . 6 U7.2 hU.li 16.6 27.7 Total Composite Households 155 223 50 30 - 61 52.6 26.3 36.8 15.7 31.5 (a)Composite households in which husband and wife are joint heads 210 282 50 31 - 5U 62.5 25.0 50.0 25.0 37.5 (b)Composite households with only one parent as head 151 173 U5 27 - 70 27.2 27.2 9.0 27.2 ALL FAMILIES 220 229 15 35 - 60 33.7 36.6 l 55.0 23.3 28.3 (a) Indices: A Structural and Environmental B F a c i l i t i e s C Overcrowding D Family Living E Economic (For description of the items used as measurements of these indices see text) - 5o -In general, 'normal' families with two children or. less appear to have the least defective housing. Even so, overcrowding and shaking of f a c i l i t i e s rank high among this group ( 5k»k* and 3k»3 per cent respective-l y ) . The majority of these families are paying rents above the prevailing level for the total sample, and i t i s significant that they also show the highest ratio of cases i n which housing constitutes a budget problem. The situation of the large family with three or more children i s obviously a good deal worse. On an average these families are paying a relatively low rent, but the quality of their accommodation i s also low. Structural defects are recorded for more than one third of the dwellings and nearly one half are without adequate f a c i l i t i e s . While these conditions might not be serious i n themselves, they are aggravated by an excessive rate of overcrowding - 80 per cent of the families having inadequate sleeping accommodation. It i s of some significance that approximately one out of every three families i n this group refers to i t s housing con-ditions as adversely affecting family well-being i n i n one way, or another. Broken families which include one or more relatives i n the house-hold appear to be better off than families i n which there i s just the mother and her children. The extra income available to the composite broken households enables them to pay more rent than the broken families without relatives (a typical rent for the composite broken households i s $U5 a month compared with $35 for other broken families) and as a result they appear to be more successful i n finding accommodation which i s adequate i n terms of living-space (about 27 per cent of the composite broken households are overcrowded compared with Ul per cent among the re-maining broken families). There i s , however, a high incidence of structu-r a l ijmdequacy i n the accommodation of both groups, despite the differences i n rents and i n the rates of overcrowding. Overcrowding and disturbed ' family l i f e have obvious connections,, and i t i s significant that broken families as a whole comment less than any of the other family types on the effects of the accommodation on family l i v i n g . The less exacting requirements of the broken family i n terms of sleeping accommodation may account for part of this."^ Moreover, a grandparent l i v i n g i n the home can be a source of support to the widowed or deserted mother, whereas i n the case of families which have both parents, this kind of arrangement often leads to added d i f f i c u l t i e s i f the accommodation i t s e l f i s inadequate. Any interpretation, however, of the different responses of applicant families to their accommodation can be only conjectural. Allowance must be made for the degree of articulateness which i s required for a person to be able to describe poor housing i n terms of i t s effect on family relationshipsj and there i s reason to believe that the worst housed fami-l i e s are often the least able to make their needs and preferences known. Obviously a great deal depends on the standards of adequacy adopted by the families themselves, and on the particular urgency of the situation at the time of applying. For the most part, i t i s evident that applicant families drew attention only to the more striking and the more immediately pressing of the inadequacies i n their accommodation when giving their reasons for wishing to move. 1^Cf. ante p.Ul " "" 2) 'It was noted i n the preliminary examination of the registration forms that a large number of incomplete, and poorly completed applications were from very low-income families who were l i v i n g i n extremely deprived housing conditions. The d i f f i c u l t y for such families of f i l l i n g i n an o f f i c i a l form i s only one of the obstacles i n the way of their obtaining improved housing con-ditions. - 51 -C r i t e r i a Used i n Rating Housing Inadequacy (Table 17) A. Structural and Environmental 1. House condemned 2. House to be demolished 3« Dwelling structurally unsound lw Dwelling constitutes a f i r e hazard 5. Dampness (basements, walls or roofj also serious flooding) 6. Basement unfit for habitation 7. Inadequate or defective plumbing (washing and t o i l e t f a c i l i t i e s ; also inadequate hot water supplies) 8. Inadequate heating 9. Inadequate ligh t or ventilation 10. Undesirable environment B. F a c i l i t i e s 1. Shared bathroom or t o i l e t 2. Shared kitchen 3. No separate kitchen: l i v i n g room used as kitchen. C. Overcrowding 1. Crowded sleeping quarters (a) D. Family Living 1. Family prevented from l i v i n g together by lack of suitable accommodation 2. Family relationships adversely affected by housing conditions. 3. Lack of privacy k* More permanent residence desired 5. Children not allowed by landlord 6. Accommodation unsuitable for children. 7. Lack of play space for children (either within the dwelling or outside) E. Economic 1. High rent 2. Rent excessive i n relation to quality of accommodation 3. Excessive cost of u t i l i t i e s 1;. Rent to be raised 5. Impossible to find other accommodation within means where children are accepted. (a) For standard used see text p.U 37. CHAPTER I I I THE INCOME-RENT PATTERN (The Significance of Supplementary Family Earnings) A careful effort was made to distinguish between the earnings of the chief earner i n the family and the total income of a family which had more than one earner. Family Allowance, Workmen" s Compensation, War Disability Pension, were included where they applied i n the earnings of the chief wage-earner; income accruing to any other member of the family, either i n the form of wages, pension or allowance, was included under supplementary family earnings. The proportion of families with supple-mentary earnings was found to be about 23 per cent of the families sampled. When the income levels of the chief wage-earner are compared with those of the to t a l family income (Tables 1 and 2 Appendix D), i t i s clear that supplementary earnings do not materially alter the family income picture. The median total family income i s $229 per month compared with a median chief wage-earner income of $220 per month. Separate examination of the 56 families with supplementary earnings shows their median income to be only $U.OO per month more than the median for a l l the chief earners i n the sample. In approximately half the number of families with supple-mentary earnings, the chief wage-earner earned less than $125 per month. As the income of the chief earner increases, the presence of extra earners tends to augment family income to a figure i n excess of $300 per month. At no income l e v e l , however, do supplementary amounts form a preponderant proportion of total earnings. While i t i s true that the economic position of many families i s - 53 -improved by the presence of extra earners, the actual improvement may not be as great as i t seems when examined i n the l i g h t of family size and composition. The relative importance of supplementary earnings for the different family groupings i s clearly indicated i n Figure I. $ INCOME. * 14-0 T — 1— $2ZO 1 $ 2 6 0 »3QO N O R M A L F A M I L I E S W I T H U P T O 2 C H I L D R E N | 4.8% NORMAL FAMILIES WITH 3 OR MORE CHILDREN T O T A L B R O K E N F A M I L I E S B R O K E N ) F A M I L I E S E X C L U D I N G B R O K E N C O M P O S I T E F A M I L I E S i i I 1 9 7 % P E B C E N T I N C R E A S E . C H I E F E A R N E R I N C O M E | % J O F T O T A L FAMILY INCOME O V E R C H I E F ) 1 5.1 % E A K . N E E INCOME TOTAL COMPOSITE F A M I L I E S 1 4 3 . 9 % C O M P O S I T E F A M I L I E S W I T H H U S B A N D A N D W I F E A S JOINT MEADS | 34.3%  C O M P O S I T E F A M I L I E S W I T H O N L Y O N E P A R E N T A S H E A P ] I4.<Q% ALL FAMILIES 4-A % Figur* I . Rtlationehip B«twen Chief-Earner Income and Total Ftolly lneom» Compar»d with Typ« of Ptoily - 5U -With the exception of the group of composite families, the most that family income i s augmented by supplementary earnings i s 10 per cent, and i n the case of normal families with three or more children i t i s as l i t t l e as 2 per cent. The large composite family with a number of adult earners obviously stands to gain most from supplementary earnings, but against this must be set the fact that such families need more housing accommodation. The group of broken families was found to have the highest i n c i -dence of supplementary, earnings, the extra earner usually being an older child or a pensioned grandparent. For these families supplementary earnings may mean the difference between a marginal existence and a reasonably adequate standard of l i v i n g , but i t i s important not to overestimate their influence on rent-paying capacity. It i s worth noting that the total family income for 2$ per cent of the broken families sampled ranges between $150 and $170 per month. It has been necessary to examine the question of the multiple-income family i n some detail because of the several misconceptions sur-rounding i t . It i s commonly assumed, for example, that many families enjoy a large enough income by virtue of the joint earnings of husband and wife, to enable them to buy their own home i f they so wished. Whatever truth this may have for families above a certain income level, the findings of the present study suggest that i t i s an -unrealistic assumption for families within the income range with which we are here dealing. Even when supplementary earnings account for a relatively high level of family income i t i s questionable whether they should be included i n assessing family capacity to pay for housing. These earnings are subject to consid-- 55 -erable fluctuation and, i n some cases, may be already committed to certain necessary expenditures. It was found that a large proportion of families in which both husband and wife were working were married couples expecting their f i r s t child. One of their reasons for applying for L i t t l e Mountain was that with the birth of the child the wife would have to give up working, and the diminur.tion i n family income would coincide with the need for more housing accommodation. In a number of other cases the wife was working i n order to pay off medical b i l l s , or to help out with the high rent which i t had been necessary to pay for suitable accommodation. When provision can be made, as i n the case of public housing, f o r adjusting rent to fluctuations of income, there i s no reason why rent-paying capacity should not be assessed on the basis of total family income. It i s a different matter altogether i n the case of home-ownership when a family's housing i s dependent upon fixed payments extending over 20 years or more. Family Income and Family Structure The distribution of income i s the basic fact from which a l l dis-cussion of the need for low-rent housing must proceed, for this determines the rents people can afford to pay without straining the1 budget. It also gives an indication of the number who might actually be able to consider "building for themselves." In ordea? to qualify for entrance to the L i t t l e Mountain project applicant families must have a total income of not less than $115 per month, (Old Age pensioners with lower incomes are e l i g i b l e , however), while the maximum family income allowed ranges from $290 to $325 according to the - 56 -number of dependents. These income limits undoubtedly comprise between them the greater part of the need for low-rent housing, but i t i s import-ant to note that certain significant elements are excluded by the o f f i c i a l policy not to accept applications from families on social assistance or from those i n which the chief wage-earner i s unemployed. Nevertheless, a small number of families i n these two categories did apply for accommodation in the project, and a portion of these are included i n both samples on the understanding that the need for low-rental housing cannot be restricted to those families only who meet the conditions of e l i g i b i l i t y . Sample LMA 'A' differs i n one important respect from sample LMA 'B' i n that i t includes applicant families whose incomes exceeded the pres-cribed maximum. As a result, the median and quartile income levels for Sample LMA 'A' are generally higher than those for sample IMA 'B' (See Tables 3 and 5 Appendix D). Apart from this the two samples show conver-gence on v i t a l matters, and the choice of sample i n what follows has been determined by the convenience and relevance of the material. The d i s t r i -b u tion of income based on sample LMA 'B' may be regarded as more truly representative of the financial status of low-income applicants, and the discussion below refers to this sample. Clearly, i n considering income distribution simple averages are not much use as a guide, and i t i s necessary also to distinguish different types of families. Provided these guards against easy generalization are kept i n mind, i t can be said that the average (actually, the median"1^) chief earner income among applicant families i s around $220 per month. 1) The median i s the middle term of a group arranged i n order of sizej the quartiles are the measurement one-quarter and three-quarters along the range respectively. Thus between them they show the limits of the most representative middle half of a l l the cases. For this reason, and because they are completely unaffected by extreme cases at either end of the scale, they are much more reliable than ordinary averages (arithmetic mean), and this type or measurement i s here used throughout. - 57 -It i s more accurate to say that the most typical incomes range between $155 and #255, and that account must be taken of the divergences from the overall average. For example, over 31 per cent of chief earners have incomes ranging between $150 and $225 (Table 1 Appendix D), and when total family income i s taken as the measurement, the number of families i n this earnings bracket i s slightly higher. An interesting feature of the sample i s the sizeable numbers with incomes ranging between $225 and $275; and about 13 per cent of applicant families are better off than this. Clearly, i f we disregard the cost to families of suitable housing at current rental levels, economic hardship i s not a major problem for many of the families sampled. This, however, i s by no means true of a l l families, and i t i s worth noting how many f a l l below a reasonable minimum income. For example, one c r i t i c a l level for family income i s certainly that of $150 per month, for below this i t would be d i f f i c u l t for' a family to maintain health and decency over any long period, while i t would be inevitably threatened by loss of work or serious i l l n e s s , or some other budget deficiency."^ More than 21 per cent of chief earners are below this level and even when supplementary earnings are taken into account, more than 10 per cent of families f a l l i n this low income category. Old age pension couples are among these cases and their plight i s well re-cognized. There are also elderly couples l i v i n g on annuities which may, in some cases, be supplemented by the earnings of the other partner or of an adult child; for such families the economic strain i s less severe. I) The Toronto Welfare Council standard budget of income required for maintaining minimum health and decency at 1952 l i v i n g costs, called for about $132 per month, excluding rent, for a family of 2 adults and 1 child, infra p. i i . . - 58 -The situation i s especially serious for families dependent on some form of public assistance, and for thooo i n whioh those i n which the earning-power of the man i s impaired by i l l - h e a l t h . A significant number of such cases were found i n both samples, and the numbers would almost certainly be greater i f families on Social Assistance had been e l i g i b l e to apply.^ It was noted that broken families i n which the mother was either widowed or separated from the father accounted for a large portion of this low-income group. The summaries i n Table 18, which comprise the most significant family groupings found among the sample of applicants, i l l u s t r a t e the relation between income and family type i n a form which i s easy to under-stand. Table 18 INCOME OF CHIEF EARNER COMPARED WITH TYPE OF FAMILY (Sample LMA 'B') Type of Family Median Income Quartile Range per month per month 1st Quartile 3rd Quartile 1Normal1 Families with up to * * $ 2 children 230 189 260 3 children or more 21*6 201 260 Total Broken Families 155 121 - 175 (a) broken families excluding composite broken households 157 121 179 Total Composite Households 155 119 - 215 (a) Composite households i n which husband & wife are joint heads 210 107 2U9 (b) Composite households with only one parent as head 151 116 161 ALL FAMILIES $220 $155 - $255 1) A separate study confirms the fact that many families on Social Assistance are l i v i n g i n inadequate housing and paying a dispro-portionate amount of their grant on rent. The majority of these families have only one parent i n the home and of course their total family income i s often much less than $150. Warren A. Wilson, Housing Conditions Among Social Assistance Families, Master of Social Work thesis, University of Bri t i s h Columbia, 1955. - 59 -The group of normal families -with up to two children approximate most nearly the overall average for the total sample. Larger families with three or more children tend to have higher incomesj typically $2l;6, and most of them ranging between |201 and $280 per month. The influence of additional family allowance contributions i s apparent i n these figures, and i n some cases the higher income may arise from the fact that the father of the large family i s often an older man and i n the prime of his earning capacity. Relatively high incomes, however, do not pressuppose an a b i l i t y to pay a high rent, since every addition to the family brings a correspon-ding increase i n the amount of necessary family expenditures. This consideration i s particularly pertinent to the case of the 1 composite family among whose members may be numbered more than one adult wage-earner. Among such families studied, the joint incomes amounted to a sizeable figure, but i t i s important to remember that these households vi r t u a l l y comprise two distinct families with correspondingly greater • l i v i n g expenses. Often the reason for establishing a common household i s an economic one, and, considered separately, the incomes of the two fami-l i e s may be quite low. The income recorded for the chief earner indicates one level of their rent-paying capacity. Prevailing Rents What rents were these families paying when they applied for the' L i t t l e Mountain project? Again, i t i s important to remember that there are many kinds of accommodation, not a l l of which are necessarily f i t t e d to the differences i n tenants' needs. Moreover, distributed among the four main types - (1) single houses, (2) shared single houses, (3) apart-ments and suites, and (U) rooming houses - are furnished and unfurnished - 60 -accommodation, and different modes of tenancy.1^ The majority of applicants sampled were direct tenants (not holding a sub-lease from another tenant, or doubling up or boarding with someone else), and were paying for unfurnished quarters. In some cases the rent charged included heat as well as li g h t , but mostly this was an additional expense borne by the tenants themselves. Families sharing single houses were usually better placed financially, since what they paid i n rent would include furnishings and u t i l i t i e s . Much of the rooming accommodation was described as furnished, but this term covered varying degrees of adequacy, and even when heat and l i g h t were included i n the rent the fuel costs for cooking would be extra and often on an expensive meter system. Disregarding whether furniture or u t i l i t i e s are included or not, an analysis of the rental situation shows the most typical rent paid to be $1*5 a month,with half of a l l the families sampled paying between $35 and $60 a month. (Table 6 Appendix D). There was plenty of housing renting for higher figures - rents of $80 or more were not uncommon - but the tendency for rents to cluster between $35 and $55 a month i s much more striking. In i t s choice of accommodation a family i s guided primarily by two considerations; namely, the rent i t i s able to afford, and i t s needs i n terms of family size. It i s convenient to examine i n the form of Figure 2 the rental situation produced by the play of these two factors for each of the family groups. A few estimates were necessary i n the case of inclusive terms covering some board as well as lodging, families l i v i n g to-gether and sharing expenses, and where services were given by the tenant in part payment of rent. 61 -t20_ 3D i 40 — i — 50 — i — 60 70 'Normal' Families with up t o 2 Chil d r e n 'Normal' Fam Qi M d i l i e s with 3 Children Q, Ma T o t a l Broken Families Broken Families excluding composite broken Households Q, M d T o t a l Composite Households Composite Households i n whioh Husband and Wife are J o i n t Heads Composite Households with only one Parent as Head A l l Families M d ©3 4, M d Q s A l l Tenant-Oocupied Non-Farm Dwellings M e t r o p o l i t a n Vancouver (1951) Figure 2. Median and Q u a r t i l e Rent Levels f o r A p p l i c a n t  F a m i l i e s and f o r A l l Tenant-Occupied Dwellings  M e t r o p o l i t a n Vanoouver. 1951. (Based on Table 7 Sample L.MJU'B' and Census(1951)"Housing and F a m i l i e s " Table 63) - 62 -I t might be assumed that because of i t s extra space requirements the large family would be paying more rent, but i t i s noteworthy that i n the case of the families sampled, 'normal' families with three or more children were paying on an average $9 a month less than smaller families -the typical rent being $37, and most of the rents varying between $30 and $1*9 a month. It i s evident that, for the most part, the comparatively low rent i s due to the inferior type of accommodation which many of these families are forced to occupy - either because this i s the only kind where large families are accepted, or because adequate accommodation rents at a figure beyond their means. (The two reasons really amount to the same thing as far as the tenant family i s concerned, but the distinction i s important from the point of view of assessing the kind of rent they could pay i f some form of subsidized housing were available.) It i s worth noting that i n Sample LMA. 'A' which includes applicants with higher incomes, the tendency i s for rents to increase with the size of family (see Table 8 Appendix D). The typical rent paid by the large families i s $53 a month, with sizeable numbers paying up to $63, compared with an average rent of $1*7 for the group of families with two children or less; but even with higher rents many of these large families were s t i l l inadequately housed. Clearly a minimum rent-paying capacity i s necessary before the large family can expect to find accommodation suited to i t s needs, and a l l the evidence suggests that this i s certainly not less than $60 a month. The composite households typically pay between $30 and $ 6 l , averaging $50 a month. Although this rent i s higher than the prevailing level for - 63 -the total sample, i t i s doubtful whether i t i s sufficient to provide for the extra accommodation which, by virtue of i t s composition, this kind' of household requires. The fact that many composite households are paying rents as low as $30 suggests that the quality of the accommodation i s low whether measured by poor f a c i l i t i e s or overcrowding. Similarly, the relatively low average rent ($36) paid by broken families may also be regarded as an index of the inferior quality of their accommodation. For such low-income families as these the choice i s severely limited, and they tendfor the most part to occupy the poorest accommodation simply because i t i s the only kind available at a rent which they can afford. I t i s worth noting that a survey of housing conditions of families on social assistance showed the median rent paid to be $37 a month, with the majority of accommodation renting at this figure of spe-c i f i c a l l y low quality. ^  It i s evident for the most part that the families applying for accommodation i n the L i t t l e Mountain project are paying moderate rents. The prevailing level i s not much higher than what i t was i n 1901 for a l l tenant occupied dwellings i n metropolitan Vancouver - typically $1*5, compared with a median rent of $1*1 for the metropolitan area and $1L3 for the City of Vancouver i n 1901 (Figure 2). I t i s essential, however, to understand why these rents are inclined to be on the low side. An important point i s that the greater part of the housing occupied by these families i s both old and converted; and old housing dictates the rent pattern. Moreover, much of the accommodation was s t i l l under rent control when these families made their applications; several families indicated ' Wilson, op. c i t . , p. 1*7 - 61; -that their rent was to be increased as soon as rent control was l i f t e d and these increases have become more common since A p r i l 1950. Whether' rents are really low or not depends on what the tenant gets for his money, and this consideration i s so germane to the findings of the present study that i t requires a section to i t s e l f . Rents i n Relation to Quality of Accommodation 1 The relationship between rents and quality of accommodation has-already been alluded to i n Chapter 2 and i t w i l l be convenient here to refer again to Table 17 i n that chapter. The precise measurement of housing inadequacies i n relation to family needs, incomes, and rents presents ob-vious d i f f i c u l t i e s , but this material i s of such central importance to any housing survey that some method, however summary, must be found of evaluat-ing i t . The summary methods of measurement employed i n Table 17 i l l u s t r a t e one possible way of assembling this material and presenting i t i n a form that i s easy to understand. The index of structural and environmental inadequacies provides clear evidence of the deteriorated character of much of the accommodation. More than one third of a l l the families sampled were occupying accommodation that either had important structural defects or was located i n a run-down area. The tendency, as one might expect, i s for the incidence of these defects to increase as rents f a l l below a certain levelj for the families sampled this c r i t i c a l l e v e l appears to be a rent of about $U5» There i s , however, a striking exception i n the case of the composite households. Despite the relatively high average rent paid by these households - $50 a month compared with a median rent of $li£ for the total sample - more than one -half of their accommodation suffered from these particular defects. - 65 -There i s f a i r l y clear evidence that the extra rent which these families have to pay i n order to meet their housing needs i s s t i l l not sufficient to command really satisfactory accommodation. Judged according to adequacy of kitchen and bathroom f a c i l i t i e s , more than 36 per cent of the families are inadequately housed. Included In this figure are a number of families doubling up with relatives i n single houses, but a large portion i s made up of families occupying dwel-lings that have been converted either to suites, or to multiple occupancy renting by the room. Accommodation with the greatest concentration of these inadequacies appeared to be relatively low rent, a typical rent being about $36 a month compared with the prevailing level for the whole sample of $1*5. Less reassuring i s the fact that this kind of accommodation i s chiefly occupied by families with 3 or more children and by broken families. Conversions and overcrowding have some obvious connection. Among the 21*0 families sampled, the overall rate of overcrowding"^ i s 55 per cent, while the ratio i s considerably higher (80 per cent) among larger families with 3 or more children. These rates are striking enough i n themselves, but when they are related to the other measurement of inadequate housing employed i n this survey the accommodation picture appears even more grim. An important point i s that overcrowding i s common to &n the family groups (the lowest rate recorded i s for the group of composite broken * households where approximately one family out of four i s overcrowded) and bears no significant relation to the amount of rent paid. Families paying a median rent of between $1*5 and $50 are just as badly o f f - i f not worse off - i n this respect than many of the families whose median rent i s closer to $35 a month. 1) For standard used see Chapter 2, p.37. " - 66 -The absence of any marked correlation between rent levels and adequacy of accommodation i s one of the most significant features of the housing situation for families applying to L i t t l e Mountain. Although many of the families could afford a higher rent than they are, i n actuality, paying, the difference would s t i l l not be sufficient to assure them ade-quate accommodation. It would be necessary for a family to spend an ex-cessive proportion of i t s income on rent to obtain housing really suitable to i t s needs. A number of the families sampled had chosen to do this, accepting the financial strains involved, i n preference to l i v i n g i n un-suitable housing and staying within their budget. Clearly this i s no real answer to the problem, since financial strain can be just as damaging to a family's health and morale as any physical deficiency i n the accom-modation. Rents i n Relation to Income The close relation between income and rent i s recognized i n the well-established formula that families below a certain level should not pay more than one-fifth of their monthly income for rent. This i s supported as a desirable maximum ratio by most authorities on the subject of low-rental housing, and also secures substantial confirmation from various studies on family income and expenditure i n Great Britain, United States and Canada.1^ Analysis of the income-rent distribution of the two samples confirms the impression recorded previously i n this study that excessive rents are not as serious a problem for applicant families as overcrowding and the i n -adequacy of the accommodation. Superficially i t might seem that income and rental adjustments have already been f a i r l y well brought about, since the Report IV, Housing and Community Planning, of the Advisory Committee oK Reconstruction (Uttawa, 19Uu), p. 113. - 67 -s t a t i s t i c a l average of a l l rents paid represents about one-fifth of the s t a t i s t i c a l average of a l l incomes (Table 19). This ratio, which i s substantially adhered to in the case of the different family groupings, i s of some significance i n view of the tendency nowadays to assume that families should be able to pay closer to one quarter (25 per cent) of their income for rent. Clearly, whatever rent-paying opacity may be assumed for them, the families themselves for the most part are not accus-tomed to devote more than one f i f t h of their budgets to rent. Table 19 PROPORTIONS OF INCOME SPENT ON RENT BY DIFFERENT TYPES OF FAMILIES S a m p l e LMA 'A' S a m p 1 e LMA' 'B' Type of Family Median Median Percent- Median Median Percentage Income Rent age of Income Rent of Chief Income Chief Income Earner Earner * . 1 P.C. * $ P.C. •Normal' families with up to 2 children 3 children or more 21*0 271 1*7 53 19.5 19.5 230 21*6 1*6 37 20.0 15.0 Total Broken Families u 11*6 38 25.9 155 36 23.2 Total" Composite Households 216 53 2 l * . 5 ( a ) 155 50 3 7 > 2 ( a ) ALL FAMILIES 236 19.2 220 1*5 20.1* .{&) , The .difference between the two samples i s explained by the fact that sample LMA 'B' includes a larger proportion of broken composite households whose rent-income ratios are generally higher than those for 'normal' composite house-holds. It would be a mistake, however, to assume that the overall s t a t i s t i -cal average alone indicates the whole rent situation to be satisfactory. - 68 -Such an average may well occur i f the excessive rents paid by low-income families are balanced by the relatively easier rents paid by the higher income families. Accordingly i t i s important to consider the range of actual income and rental distribution. For the purpose of applying the present s t a t i s t i c s to the problem of housing needs, comparisons have been applied between the rents actually paid and the rent which would be i n operation i f i t were i n fact one-fifth of the family income. (It i s convenient to refer to this l a t t e r as the "proportionate rent"). To f a c i l i t a t e these comparisons rent intervals which approximate to one-fifth of income at specified income levels have been used i n the cross-classification of income-rent data. For example, a rent which l i e s between $k0 and $U5 per month i s a proportionate rent at 20 per cent of income, for families with incomes of $200 - $225'a.month. The actual income-rent ratios of families do not of course f i t these categories. By means of this kind of tabulation (Table 9 Appendix D) the distribution i s shown of families at various income levels who are paying a disproportionate rent. A l l the families to the right of the stepped line are paying rents i n excess of one f i f t h of their income - the overall rate for the total sample being nearly 53 per cent. The rental situation i s presented somewhat differently i n Figure 3 where incomes have been translated into rent-paying capacity, using one-f i f t h as a standard basis. The contrast between the pattern of distribution of actual rents paid and what i t would be i f rents were one-fifth of income, is instructive. - 69-Rent Iarrels * over $60-64 15.4 p.c. 9.6 p.o. 2.5 p.c. $55-59 7.5 p.c. II.3 p.o. $50-54 10.8 p.c 18.0 p.e [ 9.0 p.o. 15.4 p.o. $40-44 II.7 p.c. 14.6 p.o. $35-39 J 13.0 p.o. 5.4 p.o. $30-34 9.0 p.e. II.2 p.o. $25-29 $20-24 6.6 p.o. ACTUAL PROPORTION . m _ _ O F F A M I L I E S *»° P . O . A P P e O T R I A T C PWWOCTIOH O r C A M I L I E ' 2.5 p.e. 10.0 p.e. Under $20 10 15 20 P.C. 3.9 p.e. 7.0 p.e. Figure 3, Actual Proportion of Families at Speelfied  Rent Level8 compared with Distribution  Aaeording to Proportionate Rent-Paying Capacity (Based on Tables i ft e Appendix u) - 70 -There i s obviously no uniform tendency for rents to equal one-f i f t h of income, and the only consistent feature that can be identified i s the marked degree of scatter of rental classes i n a l l income groups. For example, there are many families with incomes of less than $200 per month who are spending an excessive proportion of their income on rent and, conversely, many families i n the |>200-$300 earnings group whose actual rents are less than they could theoretically afford to pay. The situation appears more clearly defined when Figure 3 i s considered i n conjunction with Table 20. It i s evident for the most part that the families represented at the lower end of the scale, for whom a proportion-ate rent would be something less than $35 a month, are worse off on two counts than families whose theoretical rent-paying capacity i s between $50 and $60 a month. Not only do a larger proportion of these families pay disproportionate rents, but at that low-income level (under $175 a month) a small increase of rent (or a small decline of income) i s of very great significance for the family budget. Families i n the higher income brackets are better able to meet these contingencies without endangering the minimum expenditures required for healthy l i v i n g . Table 20 DISTRIBUTION OF INDIVIDUAL FAMILY RENT - EARNINGS PERCENTAGES CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO SPECIFIED EARNINGS / A / c o /~\ £T OF <_.H / e; pr lA/19£T - CP, l\Mtz JK. A ttAcUr too /OO -/ « • < ? /So-I7Y-' 75-- l-O o - XSQ-37if ins -3oo Ov«r 3c o l o /o.o II-X S. 14. IS.M. 18 O III 2-5 loo Ptrct-ntmy*. Of. c-S'* ISO Li b 7o. 1 (,1. 4" Si. i IS. J >» 3 51-9 i t i s noteworthy to find the closest approximation between 'actual 1 and 'proportionate' rents occurring i n the $kQ-$kk rental class, which, translated i n terms of income, means that families earning between $200 and $22l* a month are most inclined to spend one-fifth of their i n -come on shelter. (Actually, 25 per cent of families i n this earning group pay a proportionate rent). Above this level there are a number of families paying excessive rents (sometimes $80 or more a month) but, more striking and more numerous, are the families paying considerably less than a proportionate rent. The variations i n this case are too disparate to be identified with the commonly observed tendency for tenant families to spend proportionately less on shelter as their l e v e l of income rises, and any adequate interpretation of these differences must take into account variable personal factors as well as objective economic facts. In conditions of housing shortage famili.es of moderate and low incomes have two p o s s i b i l i t i e s with regard to their choice of a place to l i v e ; they can either pay an excessive rent and cut down on other essentials as well as the amenities of l i f e , i n order to obtain suitable housing, or they can occupy inferior accommodation which i s relatively low rent. Obviously the importance that housing occupies i n a family's scale of values w i l l affect the lengths i t i s prepared to go i n order to obtain accommodation which i t urgently needs; i t Is no less evident that there are severely practical limits, depending on family size and income, to the amount of real choice which a family has. The larger-income families have some f l e x i b i l i t y i n the proportions spent on food, clothing and shelter, but at the lower levels of income, where household expenditures approxi-mate more and more closely to the basic necessities of l i v i n g , this - 72 -flexibility disappears. If families at these Hsrels have to pay more for rent than they can afford they are forced to spend less on other essentials of l i f e . This critical margin is at a different level for families of different sizes and rests upon the recognition of a basic standard of living. The Welfare Council of Greater Toronto in publications since 1939, and most recently revised in A GUIDE TO FAMILY SPENDING (1902) has care-fully checked over the expenditures necessary to maintain families of various sizes at a minimum level of health and self-respect. The costs of maintaining the standard of living established by The Toronto Welfare Council have been summarized below for the more representative family 1) groupings found in the sample of applicants. 2 adults and 1 child .......... $132 2 adults and 2 children $109 2 adults and 3 children........ $182 1 adult and 2 children $110 Since the cost of supporting actual individuals varies with their sex and age, the figures shown can be regarded as no more than convenient gene-ralizations which help to focus attention on the more important considerat-: 2) * . ions. On the basis of these family budgets i t is possible to formulate a statement of the monthly incomes that are required to enable families of different sizes to support a minimum standard of living and also pay one-x ' It is not possible to estimate minimum living costs for a repre-sentative composite household on account of the wide differences in size and composition of such households. 2) The standard budgets of income for the different types of families have been computed from the Summary Tables" of A~ Guide to Family Spending and relate to prices as of February 1, 1952, in Toronto. There is a fairly close correspondence between the costs of goods and services in Toronto and in Vancouver. In general, there has been no great change in the cost of living since 1952. - 73 -f i f t h of their income for rent. These minimum income measurements furnish a useful gauge for evaluating family capacity to pay for housing without straining the budget, and i t i s instructive to apply this guage to the actual income levels of the families applying for L i t t l e Mountain. (See Table 21). Since economic pressure may most lo g i c a l l y be looked for among those families with incomes below the general average, the figures of the quartile range have been chosen for the purposes of comparison. Table 21 MONTHLY INCOMES REQUIRED TO ENABLE FAMILIES TO MAINTAIN MINIMUM STANDARD OF LIVING AND PAY ONE-FIFTH OF INCOME FOR RENT, COMPARED WITH ACTUAL INCOMES OF FAMILIES APPLYING FOR LITTLE MOUNTAIN Type of Family Minimum Income Required to Maintain Standard of. Living and Pay One-Fifth Income for Rent Incomes of Families Applying for L i t t l e Mountain Quartile Range 'Normal' families - 2 adults and 1 child 165 » 2 children 199 , " 3 children 227 Broken Family 1 adult & 2 children U ) 138 200- 261 217-275 201- 260* 121-175 Source: Derived from summary tables of A Guide to Family Spending and registration forms of sample of appli-cants (LMA 'B') to L i t t l e Mountain. (a) This particular size and composition of family Is more or less representative of the group of broken families sampled. The effect on rent capacity of family size shows up clearly i n the table above. For the most part, normal families with either one or two children who applied for L i t t l e Mountain were able to afford one-fifth of their income for rent, and also to enjoy a reasonable margin of safety - Ik -above the minimum required for healthy l i v i n g . The situation for the large family -with three or more children i s altogether different. Approximately 1*0 per cent of these families had insufficient income (e.g. less than $227 per month) to enable them to meet essential household expenditures and also pay one-fifth of their income for rent. When viewed in this perspective i t becomes clear why this group of families were, i n actuality, spending on an average less than one-sixth of their income on rent. Not only do large families need more housing accommodation, but they have less funds available for obtaining i t after the minimum house-hold expenditures have been met. The consequences of this i n terms of lower housing standards have been described i n Chapter 2. Although the accommodation needs of the broken family are usually not as great as for the family with both parents i n the home, their lower earning power places a severely practical l i m i t to rents which are eco-nomic or desirable. I t i s worth noting that the Toronto Welfare Council standard budget of income required for maintaining minimum health and decency, calls for about $138 for a family consisting of mother'and two school-age children, of which only about $27.00 can be safely spared for rent. The figures of the quartile range show that certainly one-fifth or more broken families applying to L i t t l e Mountain had incomes considerably below this level. Moreover, the proportion of income spent on rent by this group of families was closer to one-quarter than one-fifth. It i s evident that i f families have to pay more for rent than they can afford they w i l l be forced to pare down other essential expenditures. Over a period of years this may have harmful effects on health; i t may even more easily create other forms of deprivation or discontent. - IS -It i s important to emphasize that the minimum standard of l i v i n g as defined by the Toronto Welfare Council i s not one that permits a generous or ample l i f e ; any serious break i n earnings or any unforeseen c a l l upon family finances would entirely upset the budget. Accordingly, the number of families i n exiguous circumstances i s actually greater than the sum of those whose incomes and size definitely place them below the margin of a basic standard of l i v i n g . Summing up the evidence, i t may be said that there i s a c r i t i c a l income level below which the commonly accepted formula for rent capacity must be applied with considerable discretion. This c r i t i c a l margin i s at a different level for families of different sizes, and rests upon the recognition of a "standard" of l i v i n g . "Below this level i t may well be argued that the true rent capacity of families i s not one-fifth of income, but only what remains after the costs of maintaining the desirable stan-dard of l i v i n g have been met."^ Rent-Paying Cpacities of Families What sort of rents could the families applying for accommodation i n the L i t t l e Mountain project afford to pay? For reasons which are ex-plained i n the f i r s t part of this chapter, the standard adopted i n this study for assessing family budget capacity has been the income of the chief earner. In evaluating the capacity to pay for public housing, however, i t i s reasonable to assess the total incomes of families, and not only the incomes of the heads, since provision can be made i n a public project for adjusting rents to the fluctuations which inevitably occur i n family income. Accordingly, the estimates of rent capacity which follow relate to the t o t a l incomes of families and not merely to the income of the chief earner. I) Humphrey Carver, Houses for Canadians, University of Toronto Press, 191*8, p. 81*. - 76 -For the sample as a whole, the most typical incomes range between $180 and $26k, which i s equivalent to saying that i n average terms fami-l i e s applying for L i t t l e Mountain need housing for about $35 - $53 a month. Averages, however, as i n a l l matters influenced by the unequal distribu-tion of income, provide only a f i r s t approximation to the detailed situation, and i t i s necessary to distinguish further the income levels for the d i f -ferent types of families. The summaries of family income i n Table 31, Appendix D give the picture i n the form which i s the easiest to understand. Application of the rental formula to the quartile range of income shows that the group of normal families with two children or less could afford, on an average, rents ranging between $l*0-$55 per month. There are, however, a number of married couples without children included i n this group whose actual incomes are a good deal less than the average for the group as a whole. These couples are mostly elderly people who, i f not actually dependent on some form of pension, have very restricted earning-power. Another important element to be considered are the families with children i n which the father i s either not able to work at a l l or i s subject to recurrent unemployment because of i l l - h e a l t h . The incomes of such fam-i l i e s studied rarely exceeded $175 a month, and i n some cases were as low as $96. Depending on the size of family, the outside l i m i t to the rents these families could afford i s $35 a month, and any adequate plan for them would need to provide accommodation renting for as l i t t l e as $20. The relationship between family size and rent capacity i s recognized in the generally accepted formula that a proportionate rent for families with three or more dependent children i s not one-fifth of family income but one-sixth. Assessed on this basis, the group of normal families with three or more children could afford to pay rents ranging from $ 3 5 - I U 5 a month. It i s important to emphasize that the families at the lower end of the income scale would not be able to spend one-sixth of their income for rent and also maintain a minimum standard of l i v i n g . A practical starting rent for such families would be nearer $30. Broken families account for some of the lowest incomes found i n the sample, and i t i s therefore necessary when assessing their rent-paying capacity to apply the one-fifth standard with discretion. In average -terms these families could afford to pay between $30 and $1*0 a month, but for some of the families who do not have relatives l i v i n g with them a lower rent of $ 2 5 would be more appropriate. The group of composite families which have both husband and wife i n the home present particular d i f f i c u l t i e s i n regard to interpretation of rent capacity. Most of these households include two distinct family units, one of which i s usually of low income. In these cases the reason for establishing the joint household i s frequently an economic one, and i t i s probable that many of the families would prefer to l i v e on their own i f accommodation were available at a rent they could afford. Accordingly, although the total incomes of these households are unusually high, they may create a false impression of the realcapacity of the families to pay for a self-contained dwelling unit. The figures relating to the income of the chief earner indicate one le v e l of rent capacity among these households, but i n the absence of more precise information i t i s impossible to estimate with any degree of accuracy the rents which these families could i n fact afford to pay. Summarizing, i t i s possible to distinguish two broad ranges of rent capacity among applicant families. There are those with sub-marginal' and marginal incomes who cannot afford a proportionate rent and. for whom a desirable rent range would be $20-$3f> a month. These families account for about 12 per cent of a l l families. The remaining families are able to pay a proportionate shelter rent ranging from $35 to $55, and. within this range an arbitrary division may be set at $U5. Most of the large families, and those broken families above the marginal l i n e , should not be asked to pay rents of more than $U5 a month; the majority of the families which have one or two children can afford rents of $U5-$55 and a certain portion of them are able to pay as much as $6o-$65. CHAPTER IV COMPARISONS AND IMPLICATIONS There i s general agreement at the present time that the need for low-rental housing cannot be met through the normal operation of the housing 1) market, and that some assistance i n the form of rent subsidies Is necessary. Differences exist, however, over the interpretation of the term 'low-rental* and as to which section of the population may j u s t i f i a b l y be considered of 'low-income'. The Curtis Committee, i n i t s 19hh Report approached the problem by ranking a l l families i n the order of income received, and then dividing them into three numerically equal sections, the upper-, middle-, and lower-income groups. By this procedure the term "family of low income" has a simple meaning and avoids the ambiguities involved i n describing the 3) expression i n terms of housing supply. To paraphrase the Report, there are, f i r s t , the well-to-do who need no aid i n building at a l l . Secondly, there are the "middle" groups who, i f tenants are normally able to pay an economic rent, or, i f prospective owners, may need varying types of assist-ance in financing home purchase. Thirdly, there are wage earners and others with moderate incomes and reasonable s t a b i l i t y of employment "who none the less are not able to afford rents of higher levels than roughly $20.00 to $35.00 a month i n the main urban areas." The Report also distinguishes a fourth group - "even i f a substantial building programme provided better housing for the bulk of wage earner groups, the 'submerged tenth' (or what-1) Housing, Report by the Special Parliamentary Committee on Housing. Ottawa, 1935, p.375j cf. post.p.^s. .. "*» 2) Report IV, Housing and Community Planning.of the Advisory Committee on Reconstruction, Ottawa, 19144. 3; The National Housing Act (195W defines a family of low income as "A family that receives a total family income that, i n the opinion of the Corporation, i s insufficient to permitit to rent housing accommo-dation adequate for i t s needs at the current rental market i n the area i n which the family l i v e s . " - 80 -ever the proportion actually is) would perpetuate a market for the most deteriorated areas", unless a slum clearance programme deals with them.^ A desirable rent for this very low income group was set at $12 or less per month. It is obvious that these figures demand revision in the lightof the enhanced earning-power of most people since the period to which they relate (191*1), but an upward adjustment of incomes may be made without dispelling the essential problems. It is s t i l l the pattern of distribution that i s important, for on this depends the rentals which can be paid and how far alternative schemes can be planned with any expectation of success. An equally important consideration is the current cost of housing, whether for rent or purchase. While i t is true that wage rates have risen steadily in the last ten years, building costs have also soared, with the result that incomes which previously were able to support an economic rent are no longer sufficient to pay rents of an amount which makes housing a reasonable com-mercial proposition for landlords and builders. When these conditions apply, i t may be necessary for the purposes of defining low-rental housing to ex-tend the upper income boundary of the lower-income group so as to include a portion of the "middle" groups. It is important to evaluate the significance of these income groups in the context of the income structure and housing need of families repre-sented by the present sample. Family Income Patterns Examination of family income distribution among applicants for the •*•) Housing and Community Planning, op.cit. - 81 -L i t t l e Mountain project shows that i t i s desirable to distinguish three groups: (a) the very low-income group, (b) the low-income group and (c) the moderate-income group. The f i r s t group may be defined as containing a l l those families with incomes of less than $100.00 a month; the second group, a l l with incomes between $100.00 and $220.00, and the third group those with incomes of more than $220. These income boundaries have signi-ficance i n terms both of rent capacity and of the numerical distribution of families. Approximately 10 per cent of the families have incomes of less than $100.00. Among this group are pensioners, families dependent on social assistance or unemployment insurance, some broken families, and others i n which the father i s incapacitated by i l l - h e a l t h . With the exception of the handicapped families i n which the mother i s tine principal bread-winner, i there are significantly few normal wage-earning families among this group. The low incomes of these families are chiefly a matter of impaired or re-duced earning capacity, and of dependence on fixed pension or assistance rates. In most cases the income i s sufficient only for bare maintenance, and the payment of even a proportionate rent overstrains the budget. These are the people whom f u l l employment with high average wage-levels passes by, and i t i s obvious that any housing programme which ignores the special con-ditions of this section w i l l f a i l to meet one of the most chronic elements i n the housing problem. A desirable rent for these families would amount to approximately $2O-$20, with $30 as the very outside l i m i t . It should not be necessary to argue that $100 a month represents a minimum level at which family income becomes c r i t i c a l and that account also has to be taken of family size. For example, the Toronto Welfare Council - 82 -standard budget of income required for maintaining minimum health and decency, called for about $159.00, excluding rent, for a representative family of two adults and two children at 1952 l i v i n g costs. The addition of another child to the family has the effect of raising this figure to approximately $180.00 a month. "When size of family is taken into consider-ation, the proportion of families whose incomes prevent them from paying a proportionate rent and also maintaining a desirable standard of l i v i n g i s about 12 per cent. I f the income of the chief earner alone i s considered -and some allowance must be made for periods when this i s the only source of income — the percentage just mentioned i s closer to 18 per cent. The second group of families whose incomes are between $150 and $225 account for approximately 35 per cent of the families sampled. Although able to afford a proportionate rent, these families cannot pay the f u l l economic rent required for adequate housing without jeopardizing other essent-i a l items in their l i v i n g budget. The margin over and above the minimum required for healthful l i v i n g i s not very great formany of these families, and approximately 20 per cent of the large families with three or more children are not able to pay a proportionate rent and also maintain a desir-able standard of l i v i n g . The greater portion of 'broken' families are found i n this low-income group. Of the families surveyed whose incomes place them in this low-income group ($l50-$225) the majority could afford rents of levels between $30 and $U5 a month. The moderate-income group with incomes over $225 comprise more than half the total number of families, the greater proportion of the group (approximately 60 per cent) being made up of families with incomes between $225 and $275. Normal families with one or two children predominate among applicants for L i t t l e Mountain project, and the majority of these families are found i n this income bracket. Normally these families could afford to pay economic rents of $U5-$55 a month and, allowing for differences i n rent capacity caused by family size, approximately one-third of this moderate-income group could afford rents up to $62 or $65 per month. Rent as a Proportion of Income and the Kind of Housing i t Buys In average terms there i s a close correspondence between the pre-vailing prices of the accommodation occupied by these families and the amounts which on the 20 per cent basis they might reasonably be expected to pay. The l a t t e r average in terms of total family income i s $U5.80j the average of a l l the rents actually paid i s $1*5. This average however con-ceals a wide range of variation between different income classes. For example, approximately kh per cent of families with incomes between $175 and $200 pay a disproportionate rent, but the percentage i s only about 3U per cent for families with incomes of $250-$275. About h3 per cent of a l l families pay more than one-fifth of their income for rent, and there i s f a i r l y clear evidence that approximately one-fifth of the families are overstraining their budgets by spending an excessive proportion for their housing needs. The fact that more than one-third of the families with supplementary earnings pay a disproportionate rent i s a salutary reminder that the average amount added by extra wage-earners may be easily over-rated. When rent capacity i s related merely to the income of the chief earner, the seriousness of the situation for the very low- and low-income families i s apparent. The proportions for the two giroups of those spending more than one-fifth of income for rent are respectively about 80 per cent and 60 per cent. For some of these families the payment of even a proportionate rent may mean paring down other essentials of l i f e such as food and clothing. - 8a -Families -with incomes over $225 are i n a relatively better position i n regard to finding accommodation that i s within their means; only 35 per cent of families i n this moderate-income group pay a disproportionate rent. One of the facts to be noted about this group of families i s their dis-persal over a wide range of rental levels, with some of the higher income families occupying particularly low-rent dwellings. The shortage of suit-able accommodation at moderate rents no doubt accounts for part of this. On the other hand some families may accept inferior accommodation for the sake of nearness to place of work and similar considerations, when better housing might really be preferred. The most marked correspondence between actual and proportionate rents occurs i n the $20O-$225 group, which on the 20 per cent basis, means rents of $k0 to $1*5 per month. There i s some reason for this coincidence which may also be observed in the overall median rent paid by families of a l l income groups. Rents of about $k0-$h5 are probably about the lowest at which operating expenses of the landlord can be covered, and while rents of this level may make a reasonable return to the owner of a converted suite in the suburbs, they are about the economic or commercial minimum for accommodation rented to families i n the city. Even so, the kind of housing available at these rents quite typically provides only a minimum of f a c i l i -t i e s , or may be converted or even deteriorated property. Below this level there i s no real catering for families i n terms of adequate housing. Above i t , there i s l i t t l e new rental housing u n t i l one enters the range of sup-erior apartment suites which are high rent and usually not designed for families with children. Judging from the present sample, rents bear no significant relation - 85 -to the adequacy of housing. Although the quality of the accommodation which rents for less than $U5 i s noticeably inferior, the payment of a higher rent does not necessarily ensure adequate housing for families. The composite households are paying on an average a rent of $50 per month compared with $37 for the group of large families, but the incidence of structural inadequacies i n their housing i s almost double that for the lower-rental accommodation. The acute housing shortage i s attested by the number of families occupying converted dwellings. Nearly one-half l i v e i n suites - a port-manteau term covering a wide variety of accommodation - and the majority of these are converted single-family houses or suites over commercial premises. The basement suite predominates, and i t i s invariably damp and unhealthy. Seventeen per cent of families are l i v i n g i n rooms, most of which are part of single houses converted to multiple occupancy without any substantial adaptation for the purpose. Single houses are occupied by one-fifth of the families. These houses usually have no more than three rooms besides the kitchen, and more than one-quarter of them have important structural defects; some have been condemned and are scheduled for demolition. Twelve per cent of the families have had recourse to "doubling-up" with relatives i n single-family homes. The housing occupied by the families surveyed i s characterized by i t s inadequacy and i t s inappropriateness for family tenancy. The situation i s that one out of every three applicant families l i v e s i n accommodation which i s defective i n one or a number of physical aspects, and these may include defects of environment as well as serious structural inadequacies. Almost one-half of the families share bathing or t o i l e t f a c i l i t i e s , and of - 86 -these families about 17 per cent either use the living room as kitchen, or share a kitchen with another family. Even i f a family i s fortunate venough to occupy accommodation which is adequate in a l l physical respects, the chances that i t will have sufficient sleeping accommodation are less than one in two. Taking one room per person as a standard, 80 per cent of families have overcrowded living conditions. It is important to em-phasize that overcrowding is not confined to any one income group, nor is i t especially characteristic of accommodation at a particular rent level. It is a condition which affects most of the families represented by the sample - and the large families with three or more children most of a l l . Implications for Improving Housing What are the possibilities for these families of improving their housing conditions? In answering this question i t is important to keep in mind two things; f i r s t , the total housing deficit estimated at more than 30,000 dwelling units by the end of 19!?4, and second, the social and economic circumstances of the families represented by the present sample. A view not frequently heard nowadays, but nevertheless implicit in many people's thinking, is that families live in slum conditions because they like i t . There are very realistic reasons, (e.g. the nearness to place of work and the feeling of 'belonging') for a person'spreference for his own neighbourhood, no matter how bad the housing, as against moving out and taking the chance of finding something better. The plain fact, how-ever, is that many of these families could not afford to move into better accommodation whether they wanted to or not - and the number of applicants for Little Mountain is clear evidence that many do wish to move. - 87-A significant proportion of the families surveyed are handicapped i n one way or another. Some families may have only one parent and be dependent on Mother's Allowance or on the small earnings of the mother; i n others the father's earning power may be severely restricted or non-existent because of i l l - h e a l t h . There are, i n addition, pensioners and elderly couples with limited incomes. A l l of these families have low incomes which do not permit a rent of more than $30 a month, or $35 at the very most. If they have to pay more, other essential items i n the l i v i n g budget must be sacrificed. How many of these families can get (or have managed to get i n the l a s t ten years of shortage) adequate housing for this kind of rent? The present study con-firms that rents of an amount higher than this do not necessarily ensure adequate l i v i n g quarters. These families tend to occupy the more deterior-ated properties simply because this i s the only kind available at rents any-where near their means; alternatively they are forced to resort to such ex-pedients as doubling-up. In the light of current rental levels for suitable accommodation and the limited incomes of these families, i t i s not reasonable to expect that they could improve their housing conditions by moving. The all-important question i s - "where to?" Another important point i s that the handicapped family frequently does not have the opportunity to 'shop around' and get the most for what rent they are able to pay. In other cases physical d i s a b i l i t y may r e s t r i c t the family's freedom to move or li m i t them in their choice of accommodation (e.g. certain conditions of rheumatic and heart disease may necessitate accommodation at ground level). The dearth of suitable alternatives i s not entirely a matter of marginal incomes and slum housing. The amount of satisfactory housing at moderate rents of between $u0 and $60 i s limited, and much of i t i s not - 88 -available to families with children. The accommodation which i s available at these rent levels has usually been converted and i s both inadequate and inefficient for family needs. Accordingly, although a number of the families surveyed could afford to spend more for rent than they are actually paying, the extra amount would not be sufficient to assure them of adequate housing. There are other families who cannot afford, i n any case, a rent of much more than $k5> and a recurring complaint among such families sampled i s their i n a b i l i t y to f i n d suitable accommodation at a rent they can afford where children are accepted. Apart altogether from such questions as quality and efficiency, the high rate of overcrowding among applicant families i s convincing evidence of the quantitative need for rental housing. The overcrowded families thus brought to light are of course only a special sample of the total who are l i v i n g i n cramped quarters throughout Vancouver. Any plan to alleviate this situation must take into account the need not only for providing a separate dwelling for the numerous families who share a common household., but also for providing additional accommodation for those whose present quarters are too small for the size of their family. The plight of large families with three or more children demands particular consideration i n terms both of their need for more housing accommodation and of their capacity to pay for i t . The traditional reliance upon conversions and "filtering-down" to meet the demand for rental housing i s clearly not enough; not only does i t f a i l to provide the necessary units for an expanding population, but i t also f a i l s to provide the right kind of accommodation adapted to the differing needs of different sized families. - 89 -Home Ownership There i s an unwritten convention i n North American society that any man with a family w i l l wish to own his own home. Catherine Bauer has des-cribed i t as "The Great American Dream" which "a generation of st a t i s t i c s and overwhelming evidence to disprove i t have s t i l l f a i l e d to eradicate.""^ Quite apart from the question whether home ownership i s necessarily a desirable objective for everyone, is i t a r e a l i s t i c one (a) i n terms of what can reasonably be afforded by the average wage-earner family, and (b) in terms of what people's choice would be i f an adequate supply of good  rental accommodation were available? The income structure of families applying for L i t t l e Mountain furnishes a useful base for examining the appropriateness of house-purchase as a solution to the housing needs of one important sector i n the population. The period since the end of the war has been marked by a steady i n -crease i n the costs of residential construction which, together with higher interest rates, has caused home ownership costs to climb at a faster rate than wages or any of the goods and services included i n the Consumer Price 2) Index. This rise i n construction costs has been reflected i n the average size of loan approved under the terms of the National Housing Act (Table 22). 1) From an address given by Catherine Bauer on 'Public Housing1 before the annual dinner of the Ontario Association of Architects, February 27th, 191*3. 2) 191+9 (100) i s selected as the base period i n calculating price movements i n the Consumer Price Index. Over the U year period Jan. 19l*9-Dec.l952 the costs of shelter showed the most significant rise of 23.0 points. This increase accounted for 21$ of the rise i n the Consumer Price Index during the period. The Shelter component includes both rent and home ownership costs. In Oct. 195U home ownership stood at 122.5. - 90 -1 Table 22 GROSS FAMILY INCOME, AVERAGE LOAN, DOWN PAYMENT, AND DWELLING COST FOR LOANS FOR HOME OWNERSHIP, NATIONAL HOUSING ACTS, 1951 - DECEMBER, 195U Number of Borrowers (b) Size of Gross Family Income (a) 1951 1952 1953 N.H. A. 195U N.H.A.195U (c) Under $2,099 37 9 6 1 2 $2,100 - $2,399 I46 32 15 6 1 $2,U00 - $2,699 736 166 100 18 13 $2,700 - $2,999 l,44l 397 227 45 27 $3,000 $3,499 4,163 2,557 1,830 432 372 $3,500 - $3,999 3,381 U,231 4,494 1,381 1,192 $4,000 - $4,999 3,905 5 ,84l 9,687 4,406 3,229 $5,000 and over 4,117 6,023 9,916 5,705 5,374 ' TOTAL 17,926 19,256 26,275 11,994 10,210 Average Income ($) 4,250 4,695 4,961 5,312 5,461; Average Down Payment($) 3,929 3,117 3,2U2 3,4l8 2,672 Average Amount Of Loan (;$) 7,019 8,234 8,496 9,056 9,944 (d) Average Cost of Dwelling ($) 10,948 11,351 11,738 12,474 12,417 (a) Gross Family Income includes the total income of a l l dependents of the head of the family. (b) Data include home-owner loan applicants and purchasers of dwellings sold by builders. (c) The National Housing Act, 195U, came into force on March 22nd, 195U. (d) Including mortgage loan insurance fee. (e) As estimated by loan applicant. Source: Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Housing Statistics. Fourth Quarter, 195U, Table 31, p.53. - 91 -In the f i r s t quarter of 195U the average estimated cost of a single one-storey dwelling (including land) b u i l t under N.H.A. was $12,1+71+, and the average loan for this kind of dwelling $9,05° - an increase of 12% over the costs for 1901. These figures relate to the whole of Canada but the statistics for Vancouver show substantial correspondence. The average estimated cost of the single-family dwelling b u i l t i n Vancouver i n July 1951+ under NHA was $11 ,877, and the average loan amounted to $9,1+76. The cost of building i n North Vancouver was considerably higher ($13,996).^ In order to qualify for a N.H.A. home-ownership loan the purchaser's income must be sufficient to support debt service charges in a ratio not exceeding 23 per cent of the annual income, and in computing this income up to 25 per cent of the wife's gross earnings may be taken into account. Application of this formula to the size of loan quoted above shows that an income of at least $315 a month would be required before a family could consider home-purchase. This figure has considerable significance for families with i n -comes of the kind represented i n the present sample. Of the families sampled whose incomes qualified them for residence i n L i t t l e Mountain, nearly 9 per cent had a gross income from a l l sources of over $300 a month. Included i n this percentage, however, are a number of composite households whose total incomes are derived from other members of the family besides the wife. More-over, i n calculating the total family income for the purposes of this study, a l l the earnings of the wife, and not merely a percentage, were taken into account as well as the earnings of children. In assessing the capacity of families to assume a long-term undertaking lik e buying a home i t i s more Figures supplied by Regional (B.C.) sta t i s t i c s division of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. - 92 -r e a l i s t i c merely to consider the earnings of the family head. When this is done, only 2.5 per cent of the families sampled are shown to have i n -comes over $300, and i n no case i s the income more than $325. Even i f there were no qualifications to be attached to these income figures at a l l , i t i s clear that the vast bulk of applicant families l i e s outside the range of assisted home-ownership schemes. It i s true that families applying for housing i n the L i t t l e Mountain project have special characteristics with regard to income, and they cannot f a i r l y be taken as a measure of the potential number whose housing needs might be met through assisted home-purchase. I t i s therefore important to examine the income distribution for a l l wage-earner families. Census figures for metropolitan Vancouver show that i n 1951 more than one-fifth of wage-earner family heads had incomes of less than $2,000 a year, and that, alto-gether, 68 per cent of wage-earners had less than $2,000; only H\% had i n -comes over $4,000 (see Table 12 Appendix D). In that year the average family income of home-owner loan applicants was $4,250 (Table 22). Wage rates have increased since 195l , but not so much, nor so universally, as to effect a substantial increase i n the proportion of the population able to take ad-vantage of N.H.A. home financing. For housing purposes i t i s s t i l l the pattern of income distribution that i s important. The preponderance of loan applicants among families whose incomes exceed $3,600 (see Table 22) points up the fact that assisted home ownership has not even begun to touch the housing needs of lower-income families. Furthermore, the actual number of moderate-income families who can benefit from i t i s probably quite limited. A distinctive feature of Government home financing policy has been to encourage long-term re-payments and reduced down payments, presumably on the assumption that there are a large number of prospective home-owners who are assured of steady incomes, but who lack sufficient capital to make the necessary down payment. Quite apart from the question whether there i s such a thing as an assured steady income that can be counted on for twenty to thirty years, i t i s inadvisable to encourage into house purchase families whose incomes do not provide a certain safety margin. There i s always the poss i b i l i t y of a reduction i n the purchaser's earning power either because of short time lay-offs or sickness. There are bound to be many people among those taking advantage of these extended credit terms who are i n no position to assume heavy long term l i a b i l i t i e s or to t i e up their limited savings i n an i l l i q u i d asset, but who are forced to buy a house for lack of suitable rental accommodation. So long as the l e v e l of real wages continues to rise within a buoyant national economy, the maintenance of regular pay-ments may present no particular problem to these families, but i n the event of a recession they constitute a weak element in the housing market. A large spate of repossessions and foreclosures tends to depress real-estate values and to discourage future building. The argument i s frequently heard among prospective home owners that rather than pay rent to a landlord one would be better off to make payments on a mortgage and i n the end "have something saved up". This, however, can often prove to be specious and fallacious reasoning. In the purchase of a family home the hidden costs of assessments, taxation, and maintenance are easily ignored. Moreover, housing i s a wasting asset — "Our homes are being used up while they are being paid for. They deteriorate physically and they become obsolescent functionally due to new inventions, new fads and fashions as well as to undesirable changes in the neighbourhood. At resale there may be nothing l e f t over.""^ Svend Riemer, The Modern City; an introduction to urban sociology, Prentice-Hall, New York, 1902. -9h-A further important factor that the home-ownership ideal ignores i s the vastly increased labour mobility of our time. Insofar as home ownership encourages s t a b i l i t y and a sense of "belonging" to the community, i t has very real benefits both for the individual and for the community, but i t i s questionable how far this ideal can be pursued i n the face of r e a l i s t i c demands made by the employment market and of the inclinations of people themselves. Public Housing The importance of housing to family l i v i n g i s generally accepted, but beyond this l i t t l e measure of agreement i s l i k e l y to be found. !!Housing" i s a word with the capacity for arousing strong feelings, and these feelings invariably influence each person's interpretation of the facts. Moreover, the facts themselves are neither as complete nor as definite as one would wish them to be. The principle that gives everyone the right to some form of shelter i s not disputed; but to extend this claim so as to include hous-ing of a standard adequate for the health and well-being of each person and  his family i s s t i l l apt to invite controversy, despite the adoption of this standard as a basic human right by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The controversy stems i n the main from lack of agreement as to what constitutes an adequate standard, and as to the means by which the housing needs of the population can best be met. The tradition has been that the consumer decides for himself how and where he w i l l l i v e , but this concept of the consumer's dominant role i n the housing process has always been largely mythical, except for the fortunate few. Tilhile this concept has continued to receive a great deal of l i p service there has been a growing awareness of the i n a b i l i t y of the private market to build houses within the means of a l l families — a fact which i s e x p l i c i t l y recognized i n the U.S. - 90 -Housing Act of 1937 which states that public housing i s for low-income families "who cannot afford to pay enough to cause private enterprise in their l o c a l i t y or metropolitan area to build an adequate supply of decent, safe and sanitary dwellings for their use." A strong tradition has persisted i n Canada that the provision of housing accommodation should be exclusively a private matter, with the result that Canada's experience i n the operation of public housing has been negligible i n comparison with that of the United States and European countries. During the depression years of the 'thirties' housing became a matter of public interest, and numerous surveys and reports on local con-ditions attested to the fact that a large proportion of the population was badly housed because of i t s i n a b i l i t y to pay the f u l l commercial cost of housing built by the speculative builder. In 1930 a Housing Committee of the House of Commons reported, among others, the following as i t s con-clusions: (1) The formation, institution and pursuit of a policy of adequate housing should be accepted as a social responsibility. , (2) There i s no apparent prospect of the low-rental housing need being met through unaided private enterprise building for profxt. Despite the passage of certain legislation (The Dominion Housing Act of 1930 and the National Housing Act of 1938) there had been no change i n the housing situation by 19k3 when a Sub-Committee on Housing and Community Planning reported that with very few exceptions "the conclusions reached by the Parliamentary Committee are as valid for rental housing i n 191+3 as they Final Report of the Special Committee on Housing, Ottawa 1930, - 9 6 -were i n 1935, the situation having become actually worse i n most ci t i e s than i t was ten years ago".^ Its own findings provided added evidence on this point. "But that a very large and long range programme of low-rental housing must be contemplated, i s an inescapable conclusion from the 2) facts". For various reasons Government policy has been to place chief reliance on federal credit and guarantees, on the assumption that with this degree of assistance private enterprise might be incited to do the whole job. In providing for indirect assistance the principal object has been to encourage, through legislative devices, more and more activity i n house financing and construction by private organizations whose normal business has been i n these f i e l d s . This method has not been without effect since i t has been used to finance the construction of approximately 221,330 housing units i n Canada since the Dominion Housing Act was passed in 1935. But i t has been essentially a middle-income measure. When the achievement i s set against the figure of 500,000 dwellings for a l l Canadian urban centres which was estimated to be the total accumulated building need for the base year 3) 19U6, i t i s obvious that indirect assistance has not provided the whole answer to Canada's housing problem. The need for direct Government participation to meet the needs of low-income families was expressly acknowledged by the Federal Government i n > i t s legislation of 1949. In that year the National Housing Act was amended to permit the Federal Government i n partnership with Provincial Governments ^ Report 17, Housing and Community Planning, of the Advisory Committee on Reconstruction, Ottawa 1944, p.35. 2) Ibid., p.193. • • --. 3) Estimate quoted i n Monthly Review, The Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto, October, 195U. - 97 -to assemble and service land, to erect houses for sale or rent at economic rates and to embark on subsidized projects at rates scaled to the means of low-income families. Inany/of these undertakings the capital cost and the profits or losses accruing were to be shared by the Federal and Provincial Government on a 75:25 basis, and the Provincial Government was permitted to share i t s portion with the municipality. Before this section of the Act could operate, enabling provincial legislation was required, and the Federal Government made i t quite clear that the responsibility for i n i t i a t i n g and administering public housing projects rested with the Provinces and muni-c i p a l i t i e s . Local Housing Authorities were envisaged for the management of such projects and the Provincial Governments were made responsible for the appointment of the members of the Authorities, acting i n consultation with the municipalities concerned and subject to the approval of the Central Mortgage and' Housing Corporation. Although i t might appear from the type of co-operative arrangement prescribed between the three levels of Govern-ment that the municipal authority occupies a d i s t i n c t l y junior position, the role of the municipality i n the event proves to be the most important one. Nothing i s possible under the provisions of the Act i f the municipality decides not to make use of i t j i f i t does decide to avail i t s e l f of the senior Governments' aid i t must be able to show that there i s real demand and a real need for the public housing and community development which i t i s planned to promote, and a necessary part of this demonstration i s the factual analysis of the local housing situation with specific proposals for remedying i t s deficiencies. In effect, the municipalities are given the opportunity, i f they so wish, of inaugurating a comprehensive housing programme with a - 98 -definite social purpose; that i s , the provision of housing according to need rather than the a b i l i t y to pay the market price. At the national level, although there was no declaration of public policy in the 19U9 Housing Act such as i s found i n the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, the Act did embody t a c i t acceptance of the principle that Government has a responsibi-l i t y for assuring a reasonable minimum standard of housing for a l l i t s citizens. The L i t t l e Mountain housing project represents, as far as Vancouver i s concerned, the f i r s t practical realisation of this principle, and the additional dwellings thus made available have a significance larger therefore than their actual numbers. Nevertheless, the number of un-successful applicants i s clear evidence that the project has met only one part of the need for low-rent housing. In i t s f i r s t annual report the Vancouver Housing Authorityreported that five hundred and eleven eligible families were waiting for placement i n L i t t l e Mountain, and that at the current turnover rate i t would take more than $1 years to accommodate the last of them. Theses figures give only one dimension of the problem and take no account of the families actually i n need of decent low-rent housing, but who, for one reason or another, are not eligible for the project. An estimate of actual numbers i s not feasible, but on the basis of the present sample,:!.which includes ineligible as well as e l i g i b l e applicants, i t i s possible to indicate the groups whose housing needs are untouched by L i t t l e Mountain. Probable the most serious gap of a l l i s the lack of provision for families i n receipt of social assistance. For such families the d i f f i c u l t i e s of l i v i n g on a marginal income are immeasurably increased by the necessity of spending an excessive portion of their allowance on rent i n order to get any accommodation at a l l . I f the need for sub-- 99 -sidized housing i s conceded for other groups i n the population there seems l i t t l e logic or humanity i n a policy which denies the benefits of public housing to the families least capable of fending for themselves. Such a policy i s apt to be defended on the grounds that subsidized housing for social assistance families involves, i n actuality, the granting of a double subsidy; there would be some ju s t i f i c a t i o n for this stand i f i t could be shown that the rental allowance paid these families was sufficient to en-able them to find adequate accommodation i n the open market, but the evidence I. of a parallel study to the present one, and a l l the reports of the City Social Service Department indicate that this i s not so. A reminder i s perhaps iH order that e l i g i b i l i t y does not rest en-t i r e l y on such objective c r i t e r i a as income levels, family composition and residence qualification, but involves also an assessment of the applicant's s u i t a b i l i t y as a tenant. A significant number (Ih per cent) of applicant families were considered unsuitable, and therefore i n e l i g i b l e for the project, either because of financial irresponsibility reflected i n a low credit rating or because of unsatisfactory housekeeping habits. These and similar c r i t e r i a of social d e s i r a b i l i t y are d i f f i c u l t to define i n the f i r s t place, and require skilled investigation for their equitable application i n each particular casej moreover, they raise the whole question of the objectives of tenant selection practice. Most low-income families are no more'problems' than are those of higher income, and others constitute problems through no fault of their own, but by reason of accident, i l l n e s s , age, and other misfortunes. I t can be expected, however, that a group of persons i n sub-standard slum-area accommo-dations, with limited incomes, w i l l include a relatively high proportion of families with unwanted social habits and health problems, both mental and physical. Such families, although a minority, probably constitute the most serious part of the challenge of low-rent housing; not only do they need heavier rent subsidies on account of their limited incomes, but they also require the I)¥ilson, op. c i t . , pp. 73-75* - 100 -services of suitably trained personnel in the management of the project. The problems of these families have of course a deeper and more complex cause than just bad housing and no dramatic improvement can be expected from a change of environment. The opportunities, however, for remedial work are much greater when families are adequately housed and are not under the pressure of having to spend an excessive portion of their income on rent; the potential use which they are able to make of their improved housing conditions will depend to a large extent on the services available to them in fehe project. The particular needs of such families exemplify the truth of the statement that "housing is human relations as well as clean paint and good ventilation; management squally is human relations as well as supervision, maintenance, and bookkeeping."1* For the most part, i t is evident that the Vancouver Housing Authority has understandably tried to obviate these difficulties by selecting only the apparently most stable and credit-worthy of the eligible applicants. One indirect result of this has been that the families ac-cepted for tenancy in Little Mountain show a higher average wage level than the prevailing level for the sample of unsuccessful applicants; typically $2ljO a month in the case of the tenants (see table II Appendix D) compared with $229 for the sample of two hundred and forty unsuccessful applicants. Moreover, the average rent per unit in the project at the end of I9Sh was approximately $ii8 before service charges - service charges on the apartments ranging from #7 to $13 a month according to the income 2. of the tenant. Obviously the combined total spent on rent by residents of the project is a good deal higher than the prevailing level for the two samples of unsuccessful applicants (typically $ii5 a month in each case). The fact that fifty-nine eligible families withdrew their applications because they considered the proposed rent for accommodation in the project 1. L.C.Marsh, Rebuilding a Neighbourhood, p.55* 2. Report of the Vancouver Housing Authority for the year ending December 31st. I9$h. - 101 -too high offers a significant commentary on this difference between the two rent levels. Rents i n the project f a l l within a range of be-tween 20 and 23 per cent (before service charges) of the tenant family's income, and although rents may be low i n comparison with the quality of accommodation, i t must be remebered that a number of applicant families are paying less than this for their present accommodation. Spending habits are d i f f i c u l t to change and the change from paying a rent of $1*0 to a new rent of $60 may represent a substantial one for some families} moreover, i t i s open to question whether 20 per cent of income plus service charges i s not too high a proportion for the very low-income families. An equally important consideration arising out of the generally higher earnings and rent levels of tenants of L i t t l e Mountain i s whether the range of rents i n operation i n the project make sufficient provision for families who cannot afford an inclusive rent of more than $30 a month. Administration policy requires that the average rent per unit should not f a l l below $1*5, and i n order to maintain this average i t i s necessary to include families who are able to pay the 'economic1 rent for the project. There are good social reasons as well as economic ones for not restricting the tenants of a public housing project to one income group, but i t would be unfortunate i f the need to lim i t the number and amount of rent sub-sidies resulted i n the neglect of the housing claims of low-income families. The fact that some tenants of L i t t l e Mountain are paying a total rent of as much as $90 a month underlines the present need for definition of the terms 'low-income' and 'low-rental'. The National Housing Act (l9l*l*-52) defined a family of low-income as a "family that receives a total family income less than five times the economic rental of a family housing unit required to provide sufficient accommodation for the said family." For the purposes of the Act low-rental housing project means a "housing project undertaken to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing accommodation .... to be leased to families of low income at the economic - 1 0 2 -rental therefor or at a lower rental ..• having regard to the existence of a condition of shortage, overcrowding or congestion of housing." A significant change i n the definition of a family of low-income occurs i n the National Housing Act(I95U) where i t i s described as one "that re-ceives a total family income that, i n the opinion of the Corporation,|cientral Mortgage and Housing Corporation]is insufficient to permit i t to rent housing accommodation adequate for i t s needs at the current rental market i n the area i n which the family l i v e s . " A l l these definitions involve reference to the condition of housing supply and to the 'going' rents for adequate family housing, and deliberately refrain from specifying particular income li m i t s . When considered i n this context the findings of the present study indicate that the income li m i t of a housing project for Vancouver i s l i k e l y to be quite high,and that the project w i l l heed to cater for families who might not otherwise be considered as of low-income« The large proportion of applicants with incomes over $22$ who, nevertheless, were unable to find adequate housing has alEeady been commented on. Separate examination of the forms of successful applicants shows that their housing conditions were equally unsatisfactory i n spite of higher average earning levels. Perhaps one of the most important points which emerges from the study i s that the need for an adequate supply of low- rent housing presents a problem that cannot be wholly solved by even the widest measure of slum-clearance or by providing for the very poorest groups alone. There are, i n addition, a large number of families with moderate incomes who re-quire rental housing of an adequate standard at a price within their means, and so far these requirements have been only indifferently met. Obviously any public housing programme worthy of the name must provide for several different kinds of need, and for a more flexible distribution i n some instances of the families at present inadequately housed. The kind of policy differentials involved i n such a programme have been described largely i n economic terms, but i t important to emphasise that behind them - 1 0 3 -l i e qualitative considerations involving the attitudes and preferences of people. These are the factors which determine to a large extent the success of any housing scheme, but they are the most d i f f i c u l t to ascertain and to plan for. The nature of the problem has been aptly described by Catherine Bauer. The big d i f f i c u l t y l i e s i n the fact that every aspect of housing and c i t y planning comes down, sooner or later, to qualitative social decisions, 'value judgments' about individual needs and preferences, family and community functions, group relations and the whole pattern of ci v i c l i f e . Clearly, there are no f i n a l answers i n the matter of housing and much that s t i l l remains to be known. This can be no excuse, hoxrever, for f a i l i n g to work towards the objective of a reasonable minimum standard of housing for every adult and every child. Enough i s known to make this objective possible, and the legislation exists to give effect to this knowledge. In i t s provisions for assisted home-ownership and for publicly assisted rental housing, the National Housing Act of I9h9 contained the promise of a comprehensive housing programme catering to a l l groups of the population, and directed towards need rather than the a b i l i t y to pay the market price. Between the acknowledgment of a principle i n l e g i s -lation and i t s practical realisation there i s , however, a vast area of inaction, and no departure from traditional policy avails anything i f i t i s not accompanied by a change of thinking among those people on whom the chief responsibility rests for applying the new policy. Since the propo-sals for low-rental housing projects must come from the municipalities, and since the onus i s on them for proving a real demand and a real need, i t follows that any action taken i n this matter w i l l be directly dependent upon the kind of human and social values considered important by the people themselves. I. Catherine Bauer, "Social Questions i n Housing and Community Planning", The Journal of Social Issues,Vol.VII, Nos.Iand2,I95I. APPENDIX A DESCRIPTIVE INFORMATION ON LITTLE MOUNTAIN HOUSING PROJECT The Little Mountain low-rental housing project was initiated under Section 36 of the 19U9 amendments to the National Housing Act, which provides for the joint undertaking of rental projects, either on an economic or a subsidized basis, by the Dominion and Provincial governmentsi Capital costs and operating losses are shared by the Dominion and Provincial government in the proportion 75*25 respecti-vely. The contribution of the City of Vancouver to the financing of the project is limited to meeting half the Provincial share of the operating loss, i.e. one-eighth of the total. "Altogether three years elapsed from the time the original plans were laid lit 1950 before actual construction of the project was started in the summer of 1953. The f i r s t unit became available for occupation April 1s t , 195U, and the remainder of the units were f i l l e d as they were completed during the following months. The project covers an area of approximately seven acres bounded by 33rd and 37th Avenues, Ontario and Main Streets, immediately east of Queen Elizabeth Park. It consists of UO one-bedroom two-storey apartments, 92 two-bedroom two-storey apartments, UU three-bedroom two-storey apartments, and U8 three^bedrodm rwo houses, comprising a total of 22U units. In order to qualify for the project applicants must be families of not less than two persons with at least one year's residence in the City of Vancouver immediately preceding application. Since three-APPENDIX A - page 2 bedroom units are the largest provided, families of more than six or seven persons are virtually excluded. Minimum family income to qualify for tenancy is from $115 to $155, according to the number of dependents, but pensioners with lower incomes are accepted. Maximum family income ranges from $290 to $325 a month according to the number of dependents. Families applying for the project are assessed on a point system based, among other factors, on the quality of their present accommodation, l i a b i l i t y to eviction, crowding, and excessive rents. Suitability as a tenant and credit worthiness are also taken into account. Shelter rents in the project are adjusted to income and number of persons in the family and f a l l within a range of between 23 per cent and one-fifth of family income. The apartments are centrally-heated and heat and hot water are covered by a service charge over and abovethe shelter rent. The rww houses have individual o i l furnaces in the basement and heating costs are borne by the tenants themselves. On the basis of these assessments, rents (including heat and hot water where' provided) range from approximately $25 to $80'a month; under the terms' of ah agreement between the three levels of government the average rent paid in the project is not allowed to f a l l below $U5 a month. Provision exists for adjusting, rent to meet'changes in family-income after entry into the project. The project is administered by the Vancouver Housing 'Authority, a five-person board whose members are appointed by the Provincial Government in consultation with the Central Mortgage and Housing Cor-APPENDIX A - page 3 poration and the City Council of Vancouver. The members of the board serve without remuneration. The secretary-manager, who is a salaried employee of the Vancouver Housing Authority, is responsible for the day to day management of the project. Persons wishing to obtain accommodation in the project complete an application form, and i f the applicant is for some reason ineligible, he is notified to this effect. If eligible for consideration, the family is visited by a member of the Authority's staff who reports on the family's present housing conditions. Final responsibility for the selection of tenants rests with the board which meets once a month to consider current applications. APPENDIX B THE FAMILIES SAMPLED A. Vancouver Housing Authority- Categories of Applicants for Little Mountain According to Original Filing System p p l i c a n t s Number Total Sampled 1. Applications rejected by Vancouver * Housing Authority (over or under income limits, lack of residence qualifications, etc.) 952 k99 2. Applications which are apparently eligible for consideration. 331 166 3. Applications which are apparently eligible but which have not been followed up by applicants. 89 89 U. Pensionable Couples waiting l i s t . 11 -5. Miscellaneous Applications (appli-cations approved by Vancouver Housing Authority, applicants whose housing is to be inspected). 135 -6. Tenants of Little Mountain 22u TOTAL 750 J APPENDIX B - page 2 B. Vancouver Housing Authority Categories of Applicants for Litt le Mountain According to New Filing System A p p l i c a n t s Number Total Sampled 1. Not eligible on basis of application form a) Over income 307 -b) Under income 5 0 1 0 c) Family size too large 17 3 d) Single Persons U2 -e) Lack of residence 1 5 3 30 2. Not suitable following investigation a) Credit rating 2k 5 b) Housekeeping L*i5 2 9 3. Ifithdrawn by applicant a) Rent level unsatisfactory 59 1 2 b) Found other accommodation 72 l U c) Changed mind since applying 68 13 U. Apparently eligible for consideration 353 70 5. Apparently eligible for consideration but waiting follow-up by applicant 90 18 6. Pensioned couples waiting l i s t 7 1 7. Miscellaneous (applications waiting to be inspected, applications approved by authority, applications waiting credit verification 131 35 8. Tenants of Lit t le Mountain 224 TOTAL 17U2 2U0 APPENDIX B - page 3 Applicants Classified According to Family Structure Sample A Total Type of Family No. P.C. Married Couples 158 21.0 Old age pension couples 26 3*5 Both parents plus 1 child 220 29.3 2 children 158 21.0 3 children 57 7.6 k children 25 3.3 5 or more children 10 1.3 Composite households in which husband and wife are joint heads 2k 3.2 One parent plus 1 child 27 3.6 2 children 26 3.5 3 children 8 1.0 k children 3 .k 5 or more children 2 .3 Composite households with only one parent as head 6 .8 TOTAL 750 100 APPENDIX B - page k Sample B Total Type of Family No. P.C. Married couples 22 9.1 Old age pension couples 8 3.3 Both parents plus 1 child 69 28.8 2 children 61 25.U 3 children 18 7.5 .... h children 3 1.3 5 or more children a 1.7 Composite households in which husband and wife are joint heads 6 2.5 Cue parent plus 1 child 19 7.9 2 children 15 6.3 3 children 2 .8 li children 1 ..It 5 or more children 1 .h Composite households wxth only one parent as head 11 li .6 TOTAL 2ii0 100 APPENDIX C ESTIMATES OF HOUSING NEED (Vancouver, 195U) Households and Families by Type of Composition for Vancouver  Metropolitan Area, 1951 a) Occupied dwellings (households) 153981 b) Families HA.939 c) One family households 1229u5 d) Non-family households 22619 e) No. of families sharing (b-c) 1899U f) No. of families not maintaing own household (not related) 62U5 g) No. of families not maintaining own household (related) ,6651; Deducing from the above figures the unsatisfied demand in 1951 for additional dwelling units: Probably most of the lodging families would prefer separate accommodation, i.e. 62u5 Of the interrelated families living together i t i s likely that at least one-half would wish to live on their own i f they could, i.e.(665U-2)-2 1660 Thus total number of families wishing to move into accommodation of their own 7905 A. This additional supply of housing would probably relieve existing overcrowding per room (about 10 per cent of households in the City), i.e. 10020 (The preceding calculation probably represents a more accurate assessment of potential demand than would a figure arrived at by adding the number of families to the number of non-family households and subtracting this total from the total number of occupied dwellings, viz. 1U1939 plus 22619 - 16U558. When the latter figure is subtracted from the number of occupied dwellings (153981) the result is to show an unsatisfied demand for 10577 additional housing units. This figure, however, does not take account of those families who wish to live together for one reason or another). APPENDIX C - page 2 B. With regard to non-family; households there is a large unsatisfied demand for self-contained accommodation for single elderly people, and to provide for even 5 per cent of the population over 65 would require over 3000 units (1951 Census figures show there were 62859 people over sixty-five in the Vancouver Metro-politan Area). Consolidated figures: No. of families wishing to move into accommodation of their own 7905 No. of units required to house 5 per cent of single elderly population 3000 C. Need for new housing arising out of demolition of old and unsuitable housing Dwellings in need of major repair (1951 Census figure for City of Vancouver) Sh9$ In addition there are considerable numbers of illegal or substandard suites which should be eliminated i f alternative accommodation is available. A large number of houses in industrial and commercial zones are due for demolition. On an average 250 buildings per year have been demolished during the past three years. The great majority of these buildings were residential houses and located in the downtown area; many of them probably make up part of the total of dwellings listed in the 1951 Census as in need of major repair. It is impossible to set a precise figure for the number of dwellings that need to be demolished either because of obsolescence or because of substandard conditions, but a conservative estimate of 3 per cent of all dwellings would seem a reasonable guess, i.e. U500 (approx.) D. Need for a margin of effective vacancies (i.e. units actually for rent or sale and habitable year round) Vacancy rate for the City of Vancouver, 1951, was approximately 2 per cent. Total dwellings in City of Vancouver Occupied dwellings Vacant dwellings 105167 101879 2221* APPENDIX C - page 3 The figure of 2221*. is probably misleading as i t would include houses completed but not sold, dwellings with-drawn from the market etc. An allowance of 1* per cent effective vacancies i s suggested as a desirable mini-mum to provide the necessary margin for coming and going and for reducing turnover friction. For the metropolitan area this would mean additional dwellings to number of 5000 (approx.) Total number of dwellings required to provide adequate  housing for the population of the metropolitan area  of Vancouver, 195>1. ~ Total number of families sharing accommodation and likely to want a home of their own 7900 Number of dwellings required to house 5 per cent of single elderly population 3000 Number of new dwellings required to replace old and unsuitable housing (3 per cent of a l l dwellings) 1*500 Allowance of 1* per cent effective vacancies 5000 TOTAL 201*00 Population figures for the Metropolitan Area of Vancouver 1951 195U Net increase f Estimated number of new households formed on average of 3.3 persons per household 530728 (Census 1951) 62226la) 91533 27730 (approx.) T) : ' Figures relate to 1951 Census data a) This figure is based on estimates supplied to Regional (B.C.) Statistics Division of the Central Mortgage and Housing,, Corporation by municipalities in Metropolitan Vancouver. APPENDIX C - page 1+ Housing completions for the Metropolitan Area of Vancouver,  mid 1951 - mid 195U. b l 1951 2111+ 1952 1+21+9 1953 5913 195U 2937 TOTAL 15213 Amount by which number of new dwellings completed f a l l s short of estimated number of new house-holds formed i n the three year period mid 1951 to mid 1951* 12517 Number of dwellings required to provide adequate housing for the population of Metropolitan Van-couver i n 1951 201+00 Estimate of total housing need Vancouver, 1951+ 32000 (approx.) b~) This figure does not include new dwellings completed i n part of Surrey, Eraser Mills, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam. Beginning January, 1952, the boundaries of the metropolitan area covered by C.M.H.C. survey of new residential construction were altered to agree with 1951 Census Metropolitan Areas. I t i s not l i k e l y that the number of completions i n the dist r i c t s excluded prior to January 1952 would make any significant difference to the figure quoted above. APPENDIX D ADDITIONAL STATISTICAL MATERIAL Table 1 Income Levels of Chief Earner in Relation to Total Family Incomej and Number of Families at Prescribed Income Levels in -which Total Family Income is greater than Income of Chief Earner (Sample LMA 'B») Income per . month Chief Earner Total Percentage No.of Families Family Distribution with Supplemen-Income Chief Earners Families tary Earnings Below $100 17 7 7.0 3.0 15 $100 - 12l* 21* 10 10.0 l * . l 16 1?5 - U*9 11 8 1*,6 3.3 3 1?0 - IJh 27 29 11.2 12.0 5 175 - 19? 13 18 5,1* 7.5 2 200 - 221* 35 39 ll*.6 16.3 3 225 - 2l*9 37 35 15.1* U*.6 5 250 - 272* 1*3 1*3 I8w0 18.0 5 275 - 300 27 30 11.3 12.5 2 Over $300r: 6 21 2.5 8.7 -TOTAL 21*0 21*0 100 100 56 Table 2 Incomes of Families: Summary (Sample LMA »B») Category Median Income Quartile Range Chief Wage Earners (a l l families) per month $ 220 per month $ 155-255 Total Family Income (all families) $ 229 $ 180-261* 56 Families with Supplementary Earnings $ 221* $ 171-300 Table 3 Incomes of Families compared with Type of Family (Sample LMA 'B») Type of Family Median Income Quartile Range Chief Wage Total Fam- Chief Wage Total Fam-Earaer i l y Income Earner i l y Income per month per month per month per month I. 'Normal1 families with up to 2 children 230 3 or more children 21*6 21*1 250 189-260 201-260 20l*-277 212-268 II. Total Broken Fam-il i e s 155 (a) Broken Families excluding comp-osite broken households 157 170 165 121-175 121-179 150-209 136-203 III.Total Composite households 155 (a) Composite house-. „ holds in which husband & wife are joint heads 210 (b) Composite house-. . holds with only one parent as head l 5 l 223 282 173 119-215 107-21(9 116-161 171-261* 238-376 153-222 A l l Families $220 $229 $155-255 $180-261* Table U Total Family Income Compared with Composition of Family  (Sample LMA 'B') Married Old Composite Couples Age •Normal' Fami- Broken Fami- Households Income no Pension lies(children) lies(children) Broken •Normal' children Couples 1 2 3 h 5* 1 2 3 h 5+ CompositeComposite Total Below $100 1 1 1 2 2 7 HOO-Utf 3 7 1 1 U 1 1 18 $150-199 7 11 h 2 9 5 1 6 2 U7 $200-2l;9 9 25 21 5 3 1 li 1 5 7U $250-300 2 26 27 7 2 k 3 1 1 73 Over $300 1 6 8 2 1 3 21 TOTAL 22 8 69 61 18 3 4 19 15 2 1 1 l i 6 21*0 Table 5 Chief Earner Income Compared with Type of Family  (Sample LMA 'A') Type of Family Median Income Quartile Range per month per month 'Normal' Families with up to 2 children 3 children or more Total Broken Families (a) broken families excluding . . composite broken house-holds Total Composite Households (a) Composite households i n which husband & wife are joint heads (b) Composite households with only one parent as head $ $ 21*0 202-280 271 228-302 Ui6 113-186 1U8 113-187 216 15U-267 233 165-272 133 108-175 ALL FAMILIES $238 H87^273 Table 5-A Chief Earner Income Compared with Composition of Family (Sample LMA 'A') Married Old Composite Couples Age 'Normal' Fami- Broken Fami- Households Income no Pension lies(children) lies(children) Broken 'Normal' children Couples 1 2 3 1* 5t 1 2 3 U 5 + Composite Composite Total Below $100 3 12 1* 3 1 k 5 1 1 2 36 $100-11*9 23 Hi 6 3 U 1 9 8 1* 2 1 3 1 79 $150-199. 26 25 10 2 1 1 10 7 2 1 1 1 5 92 $200-21*9 60 86 1*1* 15 5 3 1* 5 1 6 229 $250-300 33 70 69 19 12 1 1 9 211* Over $300 13 29 29 16 7 5 1 100 TOTAL 158 26 220158 57 25 10 27 26 8 3 2 6 21* 750 Table 6 Distribution of Families by Rent Levels A l l Families (Sample LMA «B') Monthly Rent No. P.O. Under $20 9 3.9 $20 - 2h 6 2.5 $2$ - 29 16 6.6 $30 - 3k 21 9.0 $3.5 r- 39 31 13.0 $k0 - hh 28 11.7 $1.5 - 1*9 21 9.0 $5o - 5k 26 10.8 $55 - 59 18 7.5 $6o - 6k 22 9.6 $65 - 69 15 6.2 $70 - 71+ 3 1.3 $75 - 79 8 3.3 $80 or more 11 U.6 TOTAL FAMILIES (a) 2U0 100 (a) Including 5 cases with rent not stated. Median Rent Quartile Range A l l Families $1*5 $35-60 Table 7 Monthly Rent Compared with Type of Family  (Sample LMA «B«) Type of Family Median Rent Quartile Range per month per month 'Normal' Families with up to 2 children 1)6 39-65 3 children or more 37 30-1+9 Total Broken Families 36 30-60 (a) broken families excluding composite broken house-holds 35 30-58 Total Composite Households 50 30-61 (a) Composite households in which, husband & wife are joint heads 50 31-51* (b) Composite households with only one parent as head I45 27-70 ALL FAMILIES $35-60 Table 8 Monthly Rent Ccimpared with Type of Family  (Sample LMA »A») Type of Family Median Rent Quartile Range per month per month •Normal' Families with up to 2 children 3 children or more Total Broken Families (a) broken families excluding . composite broken house-holds Total Composite Households (a) Composite households i n which husband & wife are joint heads (b) Composite households with , only one parent as head $ $ 1*7 35-59 53 36-62 38 27-52 38 26-51 53 33-67 55 38-69 50 22-59 ALL FAMILIES $1*5 $35-59 Table 9 Chief Earner Income Compared with Monthly Rent All Families (Sample LMA «B'; Income per month R e n t P e r m 0 n t h $ Under 20 20-21+ 25-29 30-3U 35-39 40-44 U5-U9 50-54 55-59 Over 60 Total Below $100 1 1 U 5 1 l 1 3 1 7 $100-124 1 3 : 2 5 3 1 3 l 3 24 $125-149 2 1 1 U 2 1 11 $150-174 1 3 3 2 2 3 1 11 27 $175-199 1 1 3 1 2 1 h 13 $20O-22U 1 3 2 U 7 ! 3 h 1 35 $225-249 U 5 8 l 6 k 9 37 $250-274 2 1 k 2 3 8 h 3 | 1 H i U3 $275-300 1 1 2 2 6 5 if 27 Over $300 1 1 3 1 6 TOTAL a) 9 6 1° 21 31 28 21 26 18 59 240 Five cases with rent not stated. Table 10 Fifty-six" Families with Supplementary Earnings Total Family Income Compared with Monthly Rent (Sample LMA. 'B') Income per month R e n t p e r m o n t h Under Over 20 20-21* 25-29 30-3U 35-39 1*0-1*1* kS-W 50-51* 55-59 60 Total Below $100 $100-121* $125-11*9 $150-171* $175-199 $200-221* $225-21*9 $250-271* $275-300 Over $300 2 ; I i I 3 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 2 5 2 1* 1 7 7 7 3 5 5 11* TOTAL^ 1 15 56 Including one case with rent not stated, Table 11 Tenant Families of Little'Mountain Distribution by Income Levels  Total Family Distribution Income(a) per month No. P.O. $100 - lh9 11 13. 1* $100 - 199 16 Hi. 3 $200 - 2l*9 38 33.9 $200 - 300 33 29.5 Over $300 10 8.9 TOTAL SAMPLE 112 100 Median Income Quartile Range Total Sample of Tenant Families $21*0 $188 - 268 Source: Sample count of one out of every two families who were resident in Little Mountain housing project as at December 1st, 1951*. (a) Income relates to earnings of families prior to admittance to Little Mountainj infra Appendix F. Table 12 Wage-Earner Families by Earnings of Head Census Metropolitan Area of Vancouver, 1901 Income per Number of Tear Families Under $1,000 0,383 $1,000-1,999 10,600 $2,000-2,1*1*9 26,201 $2,000-2,999 21,106 $3,000-3,999 17,982 $1*, 000-0,999 6 ,260 $6,000 + 2,1*60 TOTAL 97,723 Median annual income $2,006 Source: Census of Canada, 1901, Housing and Families: summarized from Table 130. APPENDIX D SCHEDULE USED FOR SUMMARIZING FAMILY AND HOUSING INFORMATION F (age) M. Family: Children 0 ... Total persons ... M (age) F*.•;..*; Income: F $. M $... Other earners Total assets $... U Sk CI y s Pr 0/A P/A Accommo- H dation: P S F A R B K Total rooms ... Length of residence (a) (b) (c) Rent: R $... M $... 0 H L Sh Reasons for wishing to move: Abbreviations on the schedule which are not readily understandable are the following: Family: father(F) and mother(M); children, male(M) and female(F) with spaces for the number of children according to age group (under six years, and six years and over respectively); other persons i n family(O). Occupations, unskilled(U), skilled(Sk), c l e r i c a l ( C l ) , professional (Pr), i n business on own account(0/A), i n receipt of pension or allowance (P/A); year-round employment(y), seasonal employment(s). Accommodation: single-family house(H), apartment or suite(A), rooms(R), bathroom(B), kitchen(K); private use of accommodation and/or f a c i l i t i e s ( P ) , shared accommodation and/or f a c i l i t i e s ( S ) , furnished accommodation(F)j length of residence, under six months(a), six months to one year(b), one year and over(c)» Rent: rent per month(R), monthly mortgage payments(M), owned home(O); rent includes heat(H) or light(L) or i s shelter rent only(Sh). The reverse side of the card was reserved for notes on particular items i n the family and housing circumstances of applicants. APPENDIX E NOTES ON DEFINITION OF INCOME A careful effort was made to ensure, as far as possible, the v a l i d i t y of income figures used i n the tabulations >in view of the poss i b i l i t y that the incomes actually returned by applicants were something of an understatement. Each application form contained detailed information on the employment and earnings of a l l members of the applicant family; this information Included the period of employment, the rate of pay, total income during the previous year, and the appli-cant's estimate of income i n the coming year. In a large number of cases this information had been checked i n a personal interview between the family and the representative of the Vancouver Housing Authority; additional confirmation was also available i n some cases In the state-ment of earnings furnished by the chief-earner's employer. By means of these cross-checks i t was possible to make a reasonably reliable estimate of each family's income. 1 Seasonal work, temporary lay-offs, change of jobs, and sickness accounted for a great deal of irregularity i n the earnings of the families sampled. Accordingly, i n order to provide some measure of consistency, income levels of applicants quoted i n the two samples refer to the gross average monthly income of each family during the period 1953-5U. (In assessing e l i g i b i l i t y for tenancy the Vancouver Housing Authority takes as i t s measure current family income). The financial status of some families may have improved since the base period referred to i n this study; for others i t may have deteriorated, but the figures give a representative picture of the income situation for a particular APPENDIX E - page 2 sample of the population during 1953-5U* Chief-earner refers usually to the head, of the family, but i n some cases i t may be an elder son or daughter, and occasionally the wife of an unemployed or incapacitated man. BIBLIOGRAPHY Bauer, Catherine, "Social Questions i n Housing and Community Planning", The Journal of Social Issues; special issue on Social Policy and Social Research i n Housing, Vol.VII, Nos.l and 2, 1951. Carver, Humphrey, Houses for Canadians, University of Toronto Press, 19U8. Dominion Government, Report TV, Housing and Community Planning, Committee's report of the Advisory Committee on Reconstruction, Ottawa, 19Uii. International Labour Office, Housing Policy; housing standards, the or-ganization and financing of low-cost housing and the relation of house building to the general level of employment, Inter-national Labour Office, Montreal, 19lj5. Marsh, Leonard, "The Economics of Low-Rent Housing", Canadian Journal of  Economics and P o l i t i c a l Science, Vol.XV, No.l, February, " " Rebuilding a Neighbourhood; report on a demonstration slum-clearance and urban rehabilitation project i n a key central area i n Vancouver, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 1950. Riemer, Svend, "Architecture for Family Living", The Journal of Social  Issues; special issue on Social Policy and Social Research i n Housing, Vol.VII, Nos. 1 and 2, 1951. Vancouver Housing Association, Housing Vancouver; a survey of the housing position i n Vancouver., Vancouver Housing Association, March I9I46, (Mimeo.). A Survey of Rooming Houses i n the West-End and  Downtown Districts of Vancouver, Vancouver Housing Association, December 1951, (Mimeo.). Survey of Families with Children Living  i n Shared Accommodation, Vancouver Housing Association, May. 195W> (Mimeo.) Vancouver Housing Association and Community Planning Association of Canada (B.C. Division), Houses fo r A l l ; proceedings of the Housing Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, January 1951;, (Mimeo.) Wallace, Anthony, Housing and Social Structure; a preliminary survey with particular reference to multi-storey, low-rent public housing projects, Reproduced by the Philadelphia Housing Authority, 1952, (Litho.) Welfare Council of Greater Toronto, A Guide to Family Spending; Summary Tables repriced February 1s t , 1952, Welfare Council of Greater Toronto, 1952, (Mimeo.). Wilson, Warren, Housing Conditions Among Social Assistance Families, Master of Social Work thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. 1955. Information was also obtained from publications of Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation and from Vancouver Housing Association monthly reports. 

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