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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 f o r the L i t t l e Mountain Low-Rental Housing Project, Vancouver, and Consideration o f C r i t e r i a f o r Future Housing Projects.  by MICHAEL WHEELER  Thesis Submitted i n P a r t i a l Fulfillment of the Requirements f o r the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK i n the School o f S o c i a l Work  Accepted as conforming to the standard required f o r the degree o f Master o f S o c i a l Work  School o f Social Work  1955 The University of B r i t i s h Columbia  iv ABSTRACT The need f o r p u b l i c low-rental housing i s frequently discussed but there i s l i t t l e exact knowledge of the amount or k i n d of need, and few surveys of d e f i n i t i v e type. The inauguration of the f i r s t s u b s i dized low-rental project f o r f a m i l y housing i n Vancouver ( L i t t l e Mountain) makes possible such a study. This survey i s directed p a r t i c u l a r l y to the housing and income circumstances of the f a m i l i e s who applied f o r entrance to the L i t t l e Mountain low-rental housing project (only a small proportion of whom were a c t u a l l y housed i n the f i n i s h e d b u i l d i n g s ) . Samples only could be used: the data r e l a t e s to the kind of housing occupied by the applicant f a m i l i e s , the costs of such housing, i t s q u a l i t y and adequacy, the size and composition of the f a m i l i e s , and t h e i r rent-paying capacity. I t i s also an essay on method: (a) a simple schedule was devised, appropriate for summarizing the varied f a m i l y and housing information contained i n the r e g i s t r a t i o n forms; (b) c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s or subdivisions by which housing can be r e l a t e d to f a m i l y circumstances were developed. A s i g n i f i c a n t d i v i s i o n i s that between ( 1 ) 'normal' f a m i l i e s which have both parents, (2) broken f a m i l i e s which have only one parent, and (3) composite f a m i l i e s which include other r e l a t i v e s . The analysis'of the material i s pursued i n three d i r e c t i o n s : (a) adequacy or inadequacy of family accommodation, and i t s d i s t r i b u t i o n , (b) summary methods of r e l a t i n g housing conditions to family composition, income, and rent," (c) budgetary aspects of rent and costs, and p o t e n t i a l rent-paying capacities of families. Information f o r the study was obtained from the Vancouver Housing Authority r e g i s t r a t i o n forms f i l l e d by f a m i l i e s who applied f o r accommodation 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 l i t e r a t u r e on housing conditions i n Vancouver and on housing p o l i c y i n general, including the surveys and publications of the Vancouver Housing Association. Most of the f a m i l i e s were found to be occupying accommodation unsuited to t h e i r needs. There i s considerable incidence of inadequacy and i n e f f i c i e n c y of accommodation; overcrowding i s p a r t i c u l a r l y pronounced. Many of the f a m i l i e s are paying moderate rents, but the q u a l i t y of the accommodation i s low. Payment of higher rents does not n e c e s s a r i l y ensure adequate shelter, because the available amount of s a t i s f a c t o r y housing i s l i m i t e d . A major implication of the study i s that r e n t - l e v e l s should not be used as a measurement of housing without proper r e l a t i o n to family composition and types of housing need. Wider implications of the study, discussed i n the concluding chapter, include (a) l i m i t a t i o n s to the idea of " s e l f - h e l p " i n housing, (b) the relevance of homeownership, and (c) the relevance of public housing.  I ii TABLE OF CONTENTS  Chapter 1.  The Housing Problem f o r Low-Income Families  Nature of the Housing Problem. The Housing Available and Housing Needs. Current Housing Picture i n Vancouver. Method of Study. Chapter 2.  Families i n Need and Their Housing Conditions  Family Structure Among Applicants f o r the L i t t l e Mountain Project. Types of Accommodation. Overcrowding and "Doubling-Up". Housing Conditions of Broken Famil 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. P r e v a i l i n g Rents. Rents i n Relation to Type and Quality of Accommodation. Rents i n Relation to. Income; the Proportionate Rent P r i n c i p l e and What.It Means f o r D i f f e r e n t 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. Implications f o r Improving Housing. P o t e n t i a l 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. "LowIncome^ and "Low-Rental"; "Economic Rent": The Need ' for Definition.  Appendices: A. B. C. D. E.  Descriptive Information on L i t t l e Mountain Housing Project. The Families Sampled. Estimates o f Housing Need (Vancouver, 1 9 5 U ) . Additional S t a t i s t i c a l Material (Chapters 3 and Notes on D e f i n i t i o n of Income.  F.  Bibliography.  iii  TABLES AND CHARTS IN THE TEXT (a)  Tables Page  Table 1.  Estimated Average Housing Costs, N.H.A. Units, 19U7-195U  Table 2.  " ••" 195k Table 3. Table k» Table 5". Table 6. Table 7. Table 8. Table 9. Table 10. Table 11. Table 12. Table 13. Table Ik, Table 15. Table 16. Table 17. Table 18. Table 19. Table 20. Table 21.  Table 22.  2  Proportion o f Apartment Units B u i l t Canada, 19U7Family Composition o f Applicants Heads of Families: D i s t r i b u t i o n According to Age Group and Type o f Family ......................... Size o f Families (Persons) '. D i s t r i b u t i o n o f Families of D i f f e r e n t Sizes Among the various Types o f Accommodation D i s t r i b u t i o n o f Crowded Families According to Size and Type o f Accommodation Scale of Accommodation (Size of Family Compared with Number o f Rooms) Overcrowding Judged by Sleeping Accommodation: D i s t r i b u t i o n Among Families of D i f f e r e n t Size .... Doubled-up Families: D i s t r i b u t i o n According to Size Bathroom and Kitchen F a c i l i t i e s : D i s t r i b u t i o n of Families D i s t r i b u t i o n of Crowded Families According to Size and Type of Accommodation (Broken Families).. Scale of Accommodation (Size o f Family Compared with Number of Rooms) (Broken Families) .. Overcrowding Judged by Sleeping Accommodation: D i s t r i b u t i o n Among Families of D i f f e r e n t Size (Broken Families) Doubled-up Families: D i s t r i b u t i o n According to Size (Broken Families) Bathroom and Kitchen F a c i l i t i e s : D i s t r i b u t i o n of Families (Broken Families) Relationship between Types of Families, Incomes and Rents and Percentages of Housing Inadequacies.. Income o f Chief Earner Compared with Type o f Family Proportions of Income Spent on Rent by D i f f e r e n t Types of Families D i s t r i b u t i o n o f Individual Family Rent-Earnings Percentages C l a s s i f i e d According to Specified Earnings Monthly Incomes Required to Enable Families to Maint a i n Minimum Standard o f L i v i n g and Pay One-Fifth of Income f o r Rent, Compared with Actual Incomes o f Families Applying f o r L i t t l e Mountain ;.. Gross Family Income, Average Loan, Down Payment, and Dwelling Cost f o r Loans f o r Home Ownership, National Housing Acts 1951 to December 195U  3 23 2k 29 31 35> 36 37 38 39 k2 h2 k-2 k3 U3 k9 58 6? 70  73  90  (b)  Charts Page  Fig.l  Fig. 2  Fig.3  Relationship between Chief Earner Income and Total Family Income Compared with Type of Family Median and Quartile Rent Levels f o r Applicant Families and f o r A l l Tenant-Occupied Dwellings, Metropolitan Vancouver, 1951 ••• Actual Proportion of Families at Specified"Rent Levels Compared with D i s t r i b u t i o n According to Proportionate Rent-Paying Capacity  53  6l  69  V.  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  This study would not have been possible without the c o r d i a l i n t e r e s t and help o f a number of people. In p a r t i c u l a r , 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 o f the Association; from Mr. Sutherland, secretary-manager o f the Vancouver Housing Authority, and from Mr. Skuce, Regional O f f i c e S t a t i s t i c i a n o f the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation.  Acknowledgement i s made o f the courtesy o f the Board of the Vancouver Housing Authority i n making available the r e g i s t r a t i o n forms of applicant f a m i l i e s . I t has been a p r i v i l e g e and an i n s p i r a t i o n to have the cooperation of Dr. Leonard Marsh of the School o f S o c i a l 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.  vi  EVALUATING THE NEED FOR LOW-RENTAL HOUSING A Review o f Conditions Among Family Applications f o r the L i t t l e Mountain Low-Rental Housing Project, Vancouver, and Consideration of C r i t e r i a f o r Future Housing Projects  • CHAPTER I THE HOUSING PROBLEM FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES •f  The "housing problem" means many things, and i n i t s analysis the particularist viewpoint has no place. Similarly, statements of the problem i n terms of total housing shortage although useful and necessary, are inadequate by themselves and need to be qualified with the reminder that there i s not a single homogeneous market for housing, but a set of markets, each requiring different kinds of housing provision.  According-  l y , i n order to deal with the subject i n i t s f u l l dimensions a framework of analysis i s needed that takes account of those various specifics which together make up the housing problem. Probably the most conspicuous factor i s 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 i n i t s 1°UU Report"^ cites  the evidence of local surveys undertaken by a number of c i t i e s during the 'thirties' as a l l pointing to the same conclusion: "housing accomodation i n the major cities was extremely unsatisfactory, i n the sense of overcrowding, and of physical standards and l i v i n g amenities, slum areas were growing, and there existed a housing shortage, particularly serious  2)  for families i n the low-income group."  - 2Closely related to the shortage of new houses i s the high cost of house construction.  This has showed i t s e l f steadily since 19U6,  particularly i n cities but also i n suburbs and even i n small towns. The trend i s reflected i n the increased costs of single one-storey houses financed under National Housing Act provisions and may be observed clearly from the figures assembled i n 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  $ 5,796.00 6,685.00  103.00  t•  0 6,1*22.00  19U8  $ 523.00 570.00  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  19U7  Source:  Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Housing i n 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?" i s a basic question. I f the answer were only half of those who need housing, the situation would be serious enough. I f greater, then i t raises the whole question of national housing policy. Another unsatisfactory feature of the housing supply i s the scarcity of rental accommodation.  Some idea of the seriousness of this  gap i n 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 Units(a)  19U7 19U8 19U9 1950 1951 1952 1953 195U  72,200 76,100 88,200 89,000 81,300 73,100 96,800 102,000  7,500 8,100 11,500 12,800 12,800 11,700 19,800 23,000  Total 19li7-51t  678,700  107,200  Source:  Apartment Units No.  P.C. 9.5 10.6 13.0 1U.U 15.7 16.0 20. U 22.5 15.8  Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Housing i n Canada, Fourth Quarter, 195U, Adapted from Table 6, p.28  (a) Units i n 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 i n the City of Vancouver i n 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 i n this country, regardless of whether or not this i s desirable or economically possible for wage-earner families* The situation i s further complicated by the fact that there are several kinds of rental housing.  There i s 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 i s the new apartment housing which has been built extensively only i n 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 practically 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 i s 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 & P o l i t i c a l Science, Vol.XV,No.1, February,19U9, p . 2 2 3 ) i n Vancouver these projects have made available approximately 1750 - houses for rent to families of veterans.  - 5 the housing problem i s not confined to veterans. At this point i t i s important to emphasize that the housing situation i s the reverse of static.  If i t i s not being improved i t  deteriorates - because of the growth of population alone, i f not for other reasons.  Vancouver i s especially vulnerable i n this respect since i t has  to take care of a heavy influx of families from outside as well as i t s own normal population growth. At the same time, the existing stock of housing i s being diminished by demolitions. In each of the last two years over 35>0 buildings have been demolished i n the City of Vancouver and there i s every indication that this rate w i l l be maintained i n 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 i s not l i k e l y to produce an increase i n the actual supply of family accommodation. It merely means that rents now depend on tenants' a b i l i t y to pay, rather than on the quality of the accommodation.  Those who can afford to pay  more f o r housing are forced to take what i s available at the rent demanded, even though the rent i s normally commensurate with a better standard of housing.  As a result, the standard of the accommodation which i s low-rent  i s depressed even further and, so long as the total housing stock remains inadequate, there w i l l 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 i s as much a part of the housing problem as the actual shortage of dwellings. There i s a large amount of such housing i n 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 i n Vancouver and practical proposals for the rehabilitation of the area were included i n the f i n a l report. ^  In  spite of this, and the existence of legislation which makes such projects possible, not a single acre of slum has been cleared i n Vancouver for the purpose of putting a rehousing project i n i t s place. A reminder i s i n order here that we are faced not only with a slum problem, but with a situation characterized by much second-hand and i n adequate housing.  It i s equally evident that the problem i s not confined  to the city alone but s p i l l s over into the suburbs and outlying areas. An important factor i n the development of this situation has been the  '  conversion of single family houses to various forms of rental accommodation. The converted house has, i n actuality, been relied upon to f i l l the gap for people i n need of cheap and moderate rental accommodation, and under the pressure of housing shortage this process i s continuing i n one form or another.  A survey, ' carried out i n the winter of 1952 and 1953, of  families with children l i v i n g i n shared accommodation i n the central districts of the c i t y ^ offers an interesting commentary on this particular point.  A marked reduction was observed i n 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 i n the area had moved to substandard  L.C.Marsh, Rebuilding a Neighbourhood, University of British Golumbia, 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 i n 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 h o m e s . I t 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 i s 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 pressure 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 considerable flexibility in the budget, i t i s a matter of choice and convention 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 i s in the proportions spent on food, clothing, and shelter, until a point i s 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 i s not one-fifth of income, but only what remains after the costs of maintaining a desirable minimum standard of l i v i n g 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 i s just as much an essential of l i f e as food or clothing, i t i s obvious that people have to resolve the housing problem' for themselves i n 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  i n terms of rent or payments on a mortgage j (b) they can use up savings, i f any, i n 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 i s now drastically reduced); they can l i v e i n cheap but inferior accommodation, which usually means second-hand and converted housing that i s quite unsuitable for family living; or they can resort to such expedients as 'doubling-up* with relatives or friends. The Current Housing Picture i n Vancouver In a survey of the housing position i n 1 9 l * 6 * ^ , i t was estimated that to provide each family i n the City of Vancouver with a separate house  2  Humphrey Carver, A.R.B.A., Houses for Canadians. University of - Toronto Press, 191*8, p. 81*. ) Ibid., p.78  ^  Housing Vancouver, A Survey of the Housing Position i n Vancouver by the Vancouver Housing Association, March 191*6, p.51*.  - 9 and to eliminate the worst substandard housing, over be required.  2 0 , 0 0 0  houses would  The pressures have accumulated since then more than the  adequacy of housing, but the information does not exist which would permit 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 i n terms of what they can afford to pay for rent or purchase, and some idea of suitable location. Although such a statement i s not possible, i t i s nevertheless important to have some idea of dimensions i n order to place the present study i n i t s 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 s t a t i s t i c a l information, however, i s not available f o r the  metropolitan area. Two main sets of factors need to be distinguished i n estimating  :  the aggregate housing shortage for this area.  There are (a) current needs;  (b) "the backlog". The latter relates primarily to the reduction of overcrowding and the elimination of substandard housing, while the former arises from the natural growth of population.  Analysis of the s t a t i s t i c a l  data contained i n the Dominion Census of Housing for 1951 and adjusted i n 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 i s set out i n detail  in Appendix G) are summarized below. Approximately 20,000 new dwellings were required in 1951 to provide 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 i n 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 i n the region of 32,000 new dwellings.  This figure i s  admittedly an approximation and i s largely of academic interest since i t i s based on a number of unverifiable assumptions i n an area i n 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 w i l l eventually provide accommodation for others.  That this policy has failed  to result i n any improvement for the lower income groups i s amply demonstrated in the reports of the Vancouver Housing Association and of the City Social Service Department. The City Social Service Department i n i t s annual reports has repeatedly 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 i n 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 i s hard to find when one i s 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 i n the allowances but the d i f f i c u l t i e s of finding decent accommodation have persisted.  I f 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 i n 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 i s so limited. Local studies made by the Vancouver Housing Association help to f i l l i n 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 i n the population - people who could afford a moderate rent but for whom home ownership i s out of the question. A survey in 1901 of rooming houses i n the West End and Downtown districts of Vancouver revealed that a large proportion of the families i n 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 f a i r l y 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 i n the winter of 1952 and 1953 gave substant2j i a l l y the same picture.  Most of the tenants surveyed appeared to re-  gard their accommodation as a temporary makeshift until they could f i n d 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 i s the kind which does not rent readily owing to i t s 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 L i t t l e Mountain low-rental housing project marks the ^ 2  Survey of Rooming Houses i n the West End and Downtown Districts of Vancouver, Vancouver Housing Association, December 1951, P«8 1  ' Survey of Families with Children Living i n 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. for 191*9  the project were o r i g i n a l l y made i n 1950  Plans  under the provision of the  amendments to the National Housing Act enabling the j o i n t under-  taking of r e n t a l projects, e i t h e r on an economic or subsidized b a s i s , by the Dominion and P r o v i n c i a l governments. not become available, however, u n t i l A p r i l  The f i r s t of the 22k u n i t s d i d  1st, 1951*. The remaining  u n i t s 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 f a m i l i e s e n t i t l e d to apply d i d so.  The  response to the questionnaire survey c a r r i e d out by the C i t y of Vancouver . i n 19U9  had given some i n d i c a t i o n of the need f o r low and moderate r e n t a l  housing.*' survey, over  Although there was l i t t l e preparation of the p u b l i c f o r the  2,500 r e p l i e s were received from persons whose housing was  unsatisfactory.  Approximately two-thirds of the families who  completed  the questionnaire either wanted r e n t a l housing or had not s u f f i c i e n t 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 o f interpretation.  Most of the discussion on housing i s by people who are  themselves adequately housed, while the rate of private b u i l d i n g i s responsive only to the demands of those who people make t h e i r housing needs f e l t ?  can afford to buy.  How do other  There i s reason to believe that a  large portion of the demand f o r adequate housing i s not only not e f f e c t i v e but also not v o c a l .  People are often not aware of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r  improved housing and they tend to accept what they have.  *^ In December, 191*9, a t the time when a proposal f o r a subsidized low-rental housing programme was under discussion, the C i t y o f 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 c i r c u l a t e d through the drug-stores and People were i n v i t e d 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 i n the L i t t l e 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 required 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 i n the project.  These applicants have special characteristics with  regard both to income and housing conditions, and are only part of the total housing situation i n 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 i n the f i l e s of the Vancouver Housing Authority, such reports and statistics as were available were examined, to give perspective to the housing situation  - 15 i n Vancouver generally, and the needs expressed by applicants for the L i t t l e Mountain project i n particular.  The Vancouver Housing Association  has made a series of reports covering local housing, and these were reviewed 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 i n estimating the current aggregate housing shortage i n metropolitan Vancouver.  Permission was obtained from the Vancouver Housing Authority to  examine the records held i n the secretary-manager's office.  The chief  source of information was found to be the completed application form required of a l l applicants; i n many cases i t was the only record of a family's application.  I f 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. I f 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 i n 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 l i k e l y candidate for the project, additional confirmation of family earnings was obtained i n writing from the applicant's employer.  For every  family reaching this stage i n i t s 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 t s composition and income, and specifying the accommodation required, and the number of points rated by the family on the basis of need.  I t was possible, there-  fore, to have as many as five forms relating to one family application, as well as, i n some cases, correspondence from the applicant, or an interested person, i n support of the application. At the other extreme were those cases i n 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 s t a t i s t i c a l purposes, a l l the material available on each applicant was carefully examined to obtain as comprehensive a picture as possible of the family's circumstances. Care, too, was necessary i n weighing and sifting this material, since the information from the several different sources was often i n conflict and the writer had no means of verifying i t s accuracy.  Discrepancies were most evident  on the subject of family earnings; these discrepancies were not necessar 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 i n computing this item and to the inevitable fluctuations which occur i n a family's earnings over a period of time. '  The lack of a standardized  method i n the collection and description of the material was again a  'For explanation of the method used i n computing income see Appendix E.  - 17 handicap i n 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 i n 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 i n 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 s t a t i s t i c a l data based on sampling. The family size, rent and income characteristics were tabulated for 750 families before a re-organization of the f i l i n g system i n the office of the Vancouver Housing Authority made i t impossible to follow through with this plan.  The arrangement of the f i l e s under the old f i l i n g system  and the number of family applications sampled are shown i n 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 f i l i n g system and the several categories of this are shown i n Appendix B(2;.  It was not possible after the re-organization of the f i l e s 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 prescribed 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 i s 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 i s not supplemented by consideration 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 L i t t l e Mountain have not been included i n 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) i s classified into five sections for the sake of convenience i n sorting and tabulation.  The f i r s t 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 i s shared or private, furnished or otherwise; the inclusion of separate bathroom and kitchen, and whether these f a c i l i t i e s 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 u t i l i t i e s 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 i s largely subjective and consists either i n the applicant's expressed reasons for wishing to move  li For convenience of reference the abbreviations LMA'A' and IMA 'B' w i l l be used throughout the study to indicate respectively the sample of 700 families and the sample of 2k0 families.  - 20 or i n the observations of the Vancouver Housing Authority's representative. 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 a p p l i c a t i o n form would be the only available source of information. Wherever possible, t h i s information has been supplemented from other sources to produce as d e f i n i t i v e 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 s e t t l e d by regard to the nature of the i n t e r n a l 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 r e a l nature of the housing problem posed by these f a m i l i e s .  Three major aspects to the  problem were i d e n t i f i e d , each one important i n i t s e l f , but needing to be viewed i n r e l a t i o n to the other two f o r i t s f u l l s i g n i f i c a n c e to be ' appreciated.  These aspects include (a) the q u a l i t y and adequacy of the  housing occupied, (bj rent l e v e l s and t h e i r r e l a t i o n to f a m i l y earnings, (e) differences i n family needs as determined by the differences i n f a m i l y size and structure.  These aspects are focussed c l e a r l y i n the study and  the tables are designed and sorted i n such a way as both t o separate them for  examination and to i n t e r r e l a t e them where appropriate. An i n t e r e s t i n g feature that emerged e a r l y i n the survey was the  r e l a t i v e l y low rent l e v e l s i n comparison with what families could a c t u a l l y afford to pay.  One e f f e c t of t h i s observation was to focus attention on  the two aspects of housing conditions and family needs, which, i n turn,  i. r a i s e d new problems of operational d e f i n i t i o n 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 l i m i t s ,  f o r example, to the extent to which housing inadequacy i n r e l a t i o n to family needs can be indicated s t a t i s t i c a l l y .  S i m i l a r l y , the influence  of "consumer preference" i n determining the conditions under which a family l i v e s may be recognized as important, but how f a r t h i s i s true when incomes are severely l i m i t e d , and there i s no great range of choice ( f o r 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 p r i m a r i l y an exploration of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s o l measuring a body of information which, with a l l i t s l i m i t a t i o n s , has made possible f o r the f i r s t time a r e a l i s t i c appraisal of the housing problems of a s i g n i f i c a n t portion of Vancouver's f a m i l i e s .  Unless otherwise indicated, tables have been compiled from information i n the r e g i s t r a t i o n forms of applicant f a m i l i e s . Income and rent f i g u r e s have been rounded to the nearest d o l l a r .  CHAPTER 2 FAMILIES IN NEED AND THEIR HOUSING CONDITIONS  I t i s important to have some idea of the kind of families applying f o r entrance to. the L i t t l e Mountain project, since family size and composition l a r g e l y determine the nature of the housing problem. "Dwelling u n i t " and "average size of family" are convenient units f o r estimating the dimensions of the housing shortage,, but they are inadequte as concepts i n defining housing needs.  Homes are made up of fami-  l i e s with d i f f e r e n t needs and resources, and t h i s v a r i a t i o n introduces i n t o the housing problem d i f f e r e n t i a l s that are of fundamental ance.  import-  The housing requirements of the large family with three or more  children w i l l be d i f f e r e n t from those of the couple with one c h i l d ; 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 b e t t e r chance of f i n d i n g adequate accommodation than the broken family i n which the mother i s 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 t h e i r housing needs change. These are the r e a l i t i e s of the "housing problem" which are s t i l l not s u f f i c i e n t l y taken care of i n many approaches to the subject.  Family Composition In order to q u a l i f y f o r 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 r e l a t e d to the head: by b i r t h , marriage o r l e g a l 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 i n 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 i n both samples i n the belief that they are representative of a group whose housing d i f f i c u l 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 i s undertaken.  It w i l l 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 I. 'Normal' Families Married couples, no children Two parents with 1 child 2 children 3 children k or more children II. Broken Families One parent with 1 child 2 children 3 children k or more children III.Composite Households(a; (a; Composite households i n which husband & wife are joint heads (bj Composite households which have only one parent as head TOTAL FAMILIES  Number  30 69 61  18  7 19  15 2  2 6  11  2U0  (a; Families (with or without children; maintaining . common household with relative(sj.  - 2U The most t y p i c a l family grouping i s the 'normal' family consisting of husband and wife with e i t h e r one or two children; 70 per cent of the parents i n t h i s group are under 35 years of age (Table 2) and the majority of the children are under school age.  Among normal f a m i l i e s with 3  children, 55 per cent of the parents are under 35 years of age, and i n ' most cases two of the three c h i l d r e n are under school age.  As the number  of children i n the f a m i l y 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 r e l a t i v e l y few, and no s i g n i f i c a n t difference according t o the size of family was noted i n t h i s 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 l i m i t e d incomes. These l a t t e r families represent the closing phases of the family cycle; when children have l e f t home to e s t a b l i s h f a m i l i e s of t h e i r own and the parents are faced with considerable readjustments i n t h e i r way of l i f e , not l e a s t 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 H e a d s  Age Group i Normal'Families 1  Up to 35 years y r s - 55 y r s 56 y r s & over  36  TOTALS (a)  107 3U 185  'B';  o f  F a m i i i e s T o t a Composite Households!a; Broken Families a b No. P.C.  7  2 2 2  38  6  9 22  5 5 l  ll  51.3  123 73  30. ii  Uh  18.3  21*0  100  a: 'normal' f a m i l i e s plus r e l a t i v e ( s j ; b: broken f a m i l i e s plus r e l a t i v e ( s ;  1  - 25 Although not numerous as a group, the composite family occurs frequently enough i n both samples to merit separate consideration.  Most  public and private housing projects are designed for a particular type of family, known i n 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 i s the most common kinship unit, having displaced i n importance the old kind of composite family group which often included two generations of families living i n the one house.  It i s  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, l i v i n g with the mother's parents or, i n some cases, l i v i n g with the family of a married sister.  Another common arrange-  ment i s the composite family which includes either one or both of the grandparents.  The distinguishing feature of this type of family structure  i s that i t embodies a permanent l i v i n g arrangement i n 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 i s a question with considerable implications for the happiness and well-being of each of i t s membersj but more precise information would be required to answer this question for each of the composite households sampled.  The family i n i t s  broadest aspects s t i l l constitutes the major resource i n periods of stress,  - 26 -  and the number of widowed or separated mothers with children found among the composite f a m i l i e s suggests that t h i s might be one explanation f o r two f a m i l i e s l i v i n g together.  Probably a mixture of s o c i a l , 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 o f suitable  alternative accommodation a t a rent which they can a f f o r d prevents these people from establishing homes of t h e i r own.  Whatever the reasons f o r i t s  existence, the composite family f i l l s a d e f i n i t e r o l e among applicants f o r the L i t t l e Mountain p r o j e c t , and requires the same discriminative approach with regard to i t s housing needs as do other types o f family structure. For the purposes o f t h i s study i t i s convenient to d i s t i n g u i s h two kinds o f composite f a m i l i e s : composite families which have husband and wife as j o i n t heads of the household and composite f a m i l i e s which have only one parent as head. the f i r s t category.  The foregoing discussion has been concerned with  The second category belongs properly to the group of  broken families and i n view of the s p e c i a l circumstances of t h i s 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) and (cj the composite family.  the broken family  The family comprising husband and wife  with e i t h e r one o r two children, both of whom are u s u a l l y under school age, predominates.  The average age o f parents tends t o be low, 5 5 per  cent of fathers i n the normal family group being under 3 5 years of age. In t h e i r occupations applicants show a f a i r l y representative cross-section o f the wage-earner population, with a preponderance  o f family  - 27 heads being engaged i n u n s k i l l e d service occupations, construction work.  or i n m i l l or  52 heads o f f a m i l i e s (excluding the group of broken  families) had not held regular f u l l - t i m e employment because of l a y - o f f s or the seasonal nature of t h e i r work during the twelve months p r i o r to t h e i r application.  In 22 f a m i l i e s the family heads income consisted of  some form of pension, while f o r another s i x f a m i l i e s i t was e i t h e r severely c u r t a i l e d or non-existent because of sickness or unemploymentj i n 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 s u f f i c i e n t differences i n family composition and i n family circumstances among applicants to underl i n e the central theme of t h i s study, v i z . that there are q u a l i t a t i v e as w e l l 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 l e v e l of income) as to what constitutes an adequate standard of comfort or amenity, c e r t a i n basic requirements of housing are now accepted as e s s e n t i a l f o r the promotion of physical, mental and s o c i a l health.  These requirements have to do with the l o c a t i o n of the dwelling,  the provision of adequate heat, l i g h t and v e n t i l a t i o n , 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 contagion.- ) 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 r e l a t i o n of house b u i l ding to the general l e v e l of employment....", International Labour O f f i c e , Montreal (19U5), pp.5-8.  - 28 f a m i l i e s , i r r e s p e c t i v e of income, and are not to be confused "with an adequate standard of comfort defined i n terms of what a family i s able to a f f o r d .  ' 1  Unfortunately, i t frequently happens that low and moder-  ate income f a m i l i e s not only spend a l a r g e r proportion of t h e i r income on rent than do higher income f a m i l i e s , but they also get l e s s housing i n terms of these basic requirements f o r t h e i r 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 e f f e c t s 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 f r u s t r a t i o n s of a normal family l i f e . I t has been convenient f o r greater c l a r i t y of analysis to divide the 2kO f a m i l i e s i n sample IMA  'B' i n t o two broad categories of  'normal'  and broken f a m i l i e s , and within these two categories to tabulate them according to the number of persons i n the family i r r e s p e c t i v e of the relationships between i n d i v i d u a l 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 c h i l d and a r e l a t i v e . Families have been tabulated according to s i z e rather than composition f o r greater convenience i n considering overcrowding i n i t s broader aspects. However, i n c a l c u l a t i n g 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')  Number  Family Size  'Normal' f a m i l i e s 2 persons i n family  3 k  n "  it  ?'  5 o r more  191  •NORMAL* FAMILIES  Broken f a m i l i e s 2 persons i n family  3 ll  n »  30 69 61* 28  n "  5 or more BROKEN FAMILIES  TOTAL CASES  19 20 5 5  1*9  21*0  Types of Accommodation The heterogeneity o f Vancouver's housing stock i s r e f l e c t e d i n "the types of accommodation occupied by the f a m i l i e s sampled.  The four  ™ ^  types are set out below but f o r each one o f these there are considerable modifications. Single-family houses Shared single-family houses Apartment o r suite Rooms  20 12 h$ 17  per per per per  cent. cent cent cent.  (3 f a m i l i e s were l i v i n g i n auto-courts and one family occupied a cabin).  The majority of f a m i l i e s occupy a suite or apartment/, which may be anything from a self-contained u n i t i n a modern apartment block to a converted garage.  There are very few f a m i l i e s occupying bona  f i d e apartments i n the sense that the accommodation forms part of a building o r i g i n a l l y constructed f o r r e n t a l purposes.  Most of the suites  are i n converted single-family houses which are either used e x c l u s i v e l y f o r revenue purposes or which provide the owner with accommodation as well.  A s i g n i f i c a n t number of suites are found to be basement suites  and most of these are unsuitable f o r f a m i l i e s .  In a l l p r o b a b i l i t y they  v i o l a t e municipal health and zoning by-laws, and the f a c t that they do e x i s t i s one i n d i c a t i o n of the acute shortage of the r i g h t kind of r e n t a l accommodation. The number of f a m i l i e s of 3 or more persons occupying rooms (Table k)  i s disturbing since t h i s kind of accommodation i s probably the  most i n i m i c a l 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) f o r that purpose.  U Applicant f a m i l i e s 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 s u i t e ends and an apartment begins. For the purpose of t h i s study, therefore, a l l accommodation of two or more rooms, whether o r i g i n a l l y b u i l t to rent or converted to that use, i s referred to as a suite i f i t includes a separate kitchen f o r the exclusive use of the family and a bathroom (which be e i t h e r private or shared). 2) 'Those f a m i l i e s which described themselves as l i v i n g i n rooming houses, or where t h i s f a c t emerged from the Inspector•s Report, were automat i c a l l y c l a s s i f i e d as occupying rooms. In some instances, however, t h i s f a c t had to be deduced from other items of information contained i n the a p p l i c a t i o n form. A family was assumed to be l i v i n g i n rooms i f i t s accommodation d i d not include a private and separate kitchen. Such cases would include not only f a m i l i e s sharing the use of a kitchen with another family but also those f o r whom the l i v i n g room served as a kitchen as w e l l .  - 31 Table 6  DISTRIBUTION OF FAMILIES OF DIFFERENT SIZES AMONG THE VARIOUS TYPES OF ACCOMMODATION  No.of f a m i l i e s l i v i n g i n Persons i n Family Single Shared Single Apartment/ Suite House House 'Normal' f a m i l i e s  2 3 1*  $ or more  •NORMAL' FAMILIES  $  38  23  1 1* 3 2  2 k  10 1*8  Broken f a m i l i e s  2 3 1*  5 or more BROKEN FAMILIES TOTAL  1 9 8  9 11 10 9  10 39 3k 11  Rooms  Other  Total  8 9 12 3  3 1  30 69 6U. 28  32  1*  191  10 9 2 2  6 3  6  23  10  29  117  19 20 5"  $  1  1*2  1*9 21*0  1*  (a) Includes Auto courts and cabins A rooming house i s not the i d e a l environment f o r children to grow up i n . the  Their opportunities f o r normal, healthy development s u f f e r from  confined quarters, and they are p a r t i c u l a r l y exposed to the demoraliz-  ing e f f e c t s of the lack of privacy within the home and between the various tenant groups.  By i t s very function of catering f o r transients, the  rooming house discourages any feelings of s t a b i l i t y o r permanence. For many families i t exists as a temporary r e s t i n g place i n the never ending quest f o r adequate accommodation  at a rent which they can a f f o r d .  By the  time the rent i s reckoned up f o r each room i t may not even represent cheap  - 32 accommodation f o r the low income family, but because i t i s u s u a l l y furnished, i t i s the only kind of accommodation which many of these families without f u r n i t u r e of t h e i r own  can consider.  Whether the  rooms are i n a rooming house or are rented i n a single-family house, t h i s 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  f a m i l i e s , and the f a c i l i t i e s f o r storing and cooking food are usually t o t a l l y inadequate f o r a family.  Under these conditions housekeeping  becomes not only unnecessarily expensive, but an unrelieved chore f o r the mother, whose reaction to the excessive s t r a i n s i s l i a b l e to take the form of a punitive and r e s t r i c t i v e attitude toward the children. A l l but two of the t o t a l f a m i l i e s sampled paid rent.  The  two  exceptions were making monthly mortgage payments on houses which they were unable to maintain e i t h e r 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 -  t i e s ( e s p e c i a l l y heating costs) was l i v i n g i n single family houses.  a frequent complaint among f a m i l i e s  A l l things being equal, there i s no  question that the single-family house o f f e r s the most suitable accommodation f o r f a m i l i e s with children, but as was  apparent from the l i v i n g  conditions of the f a m i l i e s sampled, the single family house i s subject to as many variations i n q u a l i t y and u t i l i t y as any of the other of accommodation.  kinds  Houses ranged i n s i z e from two rooms to eight rooms,  the average being a house of 3 rooms plus kitchen.  There was no tendency  f o r large f a m i l i e s to occupy the l a r g e r houses and i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t 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 f a m i l i e s complained of overcrowding. Three of the houses had been condemned and were to be demolished, while i n ten others the s t r u c t u r a l defects made f o r unsanitary l i v i n g conditions. Two f a m i l i e s found i t inconvenient to l i v e i n a house because of p h y s i c a l d i s a b i l i t y and the d i f f i c u l t y of climbing s t a i r s . •With the exception of houses renting f o r $65 or more per month, there appeared to be no c o r r e l a t i o n between the amount of rent paid and the q u a l i t y of the house.  Rents on the whole were no greater than f o r  other kinds of accommodation and, apart from those cases where the q u a l i t y of the house d i d 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 f a m i l i e s had  a c t u a l l y been n o t i f i e d that t h e i r rents would be raised as soon as rent control lapsed; seven families had been given notice to quit, e i t h e r because the owner wanted the house f o r h i s own use or to rent to  new  tenants at a higher rent, or because the property was up f o r sale.  That  uncertainty of tenure i s not the concern only of f a m i l i e s occupying suites or rooms i s evident from the information given i n the a p p l i c a t i o n form by f a m i l i e s 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 t h i s was the only suitable accommodation they could f i n d i n which c h i l d r e n were accepted, regarded t h e i r residence as temporary u n t i l such time as they were able to f i n d a place more within t h e i r means. Besides the more usual types of accommodation, a f u r t h e r category of  "shared single-family house" i s used i n t h i s study.  Although i t would  -3khave been possible to d i s t r i b u t e the f a m i l i e s included under t h i s head among the other types of accommodation, t h e i r circumstances are s u f f i c i e n t l y exceptional to j u s t i f y separate consideration; they may even provide a clue to the query r a i s e d i n the f i r s t part of t h i s chapter as to whether the members of a composite family l i v e together by choice or of necessity. The majority of f a m i l i e s sampled i n t h i s category l i v e with r e l a t i v e s and occupy one or, a t 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 t h e i r reason f o r wishing to move, while i n a few cases the incentive comes from the "host" family which may require the whole house f o r i t s own use.  In spite of the d e f i n i t e advantages of economy and convenience  which t h i s kind of arrangement offered to some families," '^ i t i s s i g n i f i 1  cant that a l l expressed a wish to move when the opportunity of a l t e r n a t i v e accommodation presented i t s e l f .  On t h i s evidence i t i s reasonable to  suppose that they would have moved before i f suitable accommodation had been available a t a rent which they f e l t able to a f f o r d .  Overcrowding  and Doubling-Up  Overcrowded l i v i n g conditions are among the most disabling i n t h e i r e f f e c t on family l i f e .  Apart altogether from the r i s k s involved to phy-  s i c a l health, they are a constant source of emotional s t r a i n , causing the inevitable family f r i c t i o n s to be magnified out of a l l proportion.  The  *) In two f a m i l i e s the family head was unemployed and i n three others had an income of l e s s than $160 per month. The f i n a n c i a l and p r a c t i c a l advantages of t h i s k i n d of arrangement f o 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 provided with f u l l board and lodging and i n these cases the rent was u s u a l l y a nominal sum included i n the t o t a l payment.  - 35 r e s u l t i n g lack of privacy i s demoralizing both f o r parents and children, and the i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of personal contacts which occurs under these conditions i s not conducive to the development of s a t i s f y i n g personal relationships* By means of Tables 1 and 8, the accommodation picture f o r the group of 'normal' f a m i l i e s i s shown i n several ways: according to type of accommodation; and according to dwelling-unit s i z e " ^ and s i z e 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 c l e a r l y .  A l l the f a m i l i e s to the  l e f t of the stepped l i n e (Table 8) have accommodation which provides l e s s than one room per person.  Table 7  DISTRIBUTION OF CROWDED FAMILIES, ACCORDING .. .TO. SIZE AND TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION ..  Size of Family (persons)  2 3 h 5  6 or more TOTAL  1)  Type of Accommodation Single Shared Single Apartment/ Houses House Suite Rooms  2 7 3  6 18  1 9 5 5  2 33 32 10  20  78  1  2  Other  7 9 12 1  3 1  31  U  Total  13 51* 56 19 9  151  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 l a t t e r may be l a r g e r ( 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 i n family 2  1  Numb e r 2 3  13 16  3  1* •5  6 or more TOTAL  8  38  12 2  31*  1*3  92  10 2  o f  1*  , 7 12 10 7  2 2 I 8  1*1  13  1  R 0o ms 6 or more 1  1l 1  Total 30 69  61*  19 9 1  191  Among the 191 normal families sampled, the overall rate of (living-room) overcrowding i s 79 per cent.  The measurement of over-  crowding by the standard of one person per room, even though these exclude kitchen and bathroom, which i n practice are not always available to tenants, i s useful only as a f i r s t approximation.  The condition of  each room, i t s cubic capacity, i t s 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  i s sufficient i n i t s e l f to indicate the seriousness of the problem for applicant families. Overcrowding i s 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, i n the case of families l i v i n g i n 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 i s suitable only for individuals rather  - 37 than f a m i l i e s with children. An important aspect to overcrowding i s the amount o f bedroom accommodation available to f a m i l i e s .  Accordingly a more d e t a i l e d review  of the cards was made f o r each of the families sampled, permitting the c a l c u l a t i o n of overcrowding i n terms of sleeping-accommodation and i n r e l a t i o n to the age and sex composition of each family. applied was not r i g i d .  The standard  I t assumed that an i n f a n t might share the same  bedroom with the parents without t h i s constituting overcrowding.  More-  over, i n the case of children under 6 years of age, i t allowed f o r 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 f o r children of d i f f e r e n t sex u n t i l school age ( s i x years or o l d e r ) .  Table 9  OVERCROWDING JUDGED BY SLEEPING ACCOMMODATION: DISTRIBUTION AMONG FAMILIES OF DIFFERENT SIZE.  Size of Family (persons)  Total Number of Families  2 3  30 69  1* 5 or more  61* 28  TOTAL  Number of Overcrowded Families  191  Percentage of Overcrowded f a m i l i e s PC  13 25 h9  .1*3.3 36.2 76.5  25  89.2  112  58.6  The r a t i o s 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 i n sleeping accommodation i s 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 i s commonly necessary f o r families to share accommodation with others. Over 17 per cent (Table 10) of the 'normal families sampled have had recourse to this expedient. 1  The greate part of this group i s 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  Size of Family (persons) 2 3  1* 5 or more TOTAL  Total Number Families living of in Families Shared Accommodation 30  3  69 6h  11  1U  28  5  191  33  Percentage of Families i n Shared Accommodation PC 10.0 15.9 21.8 17.8 17.2  (a) Includes families sharing accommodation with relatives or nonrelatives j families taking i n lodgers, and families provided with board and lodging.  - 39 Table 11  Persons i n Family  BATHROOM AND KITCHEN FACILITIES: DISTRIBUTION OF FAMILIES  Total Number  2 3  30 69  h f> or more  6k  TOTAL  28  191  Families Using L i v i n g Room as Kitchen  Families Sharing Bathroom Kitchen  1U 31 30 11  1 9 7 3  5 1* 5 1  86  20  15  Besides the f a c t that i t affords accommodation which wouldn't otherwise be a v a i l a b l e , t h i s kind of arrangement i s often resorted to as a means of achieving some economy i n the rent.  I t i s seldom a desirable  arrangement, however, being accompanied u s u a l l y by overcrowding  (86.9  per  cent of f a m i l i e s i n shared single houses were overcrowded) and the communal 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 t h i s case i s the higher proportion of f a m i l i e s with two or more children who  are doubling-up.  I t should not be necessary to elabo-  rate on the tensions i m p l i c i t i n such a s i t u a t i o n .  That a l l these  f a m i l i e s were sharing of necessity, and not by choice, i s evident from t h e i r application f o r alternative accommodation when the opportunity arose.  Housing Conditions of Broken Families For the broken f a m i l y with only one parent i n the home the influences of good or bad housing are p a r t i c u l a r l y pronounced.  These  f a m i l i e s lack the usual resources available to the normal family, and the  -irresponsibility for coping with day to day problems f a l l s exclusively on the mother.  When the situation i s aggravated by poor housing con-  ditions - as i t frequently i s because of their low rent-paying capacity the consequences i n 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 i s 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 i s 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.  I f the  grandparent i s i n 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 i t s 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 f a m i l i e s 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 f o r t h e i r lower rate of crowding compared with normal f a m i l i e s .  A family of four persons, only  one of which i s an adult, requires l e s s sleeping accommodation than the equivalent-sized family with two adults i n i t .  Even so, the rate of  overcrowding among broken f a m i l i e s consisting of three persons i s excessive (55> per cent), and f o r larger f a m i l i e s of f i v e or more persons the rate i s 100 per cent.  I t i s worth noting that a l l except one of the  f a m i l i e s l i v i n g i n rooming houses are overcrowded and that the majority of these f a m i l i e s occupy only one room. I t i s important to emphasize that the problem of overcrowding f o r broken f a m i l i e s , although l e s s pronounced than f o r normal f a m i l i e s , i s s t i l l a sizeable one.  Moreover the f a c t that a l a r g e r proportion o f  these f a m i l i e s have s u f f i c i e n t 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 f a m i l i e s i s severely l i m i t e d by the low rent that they can a f f o r d , and f o r the most part t h e i r accommodation tends to be of a low q u a l i t y characterized by a high incidence of s t r u c t u r a l 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 (persons)  Single Shared Single Apartment/ House House Suite Rooms  2  1  3 1*  5 or more  1  1  3  1* 2 2  2  Other  Total  3  7 11  1  5  5  2  TOTAL  Table 13 Persons i n Family 2 3 1*  2 5  SCALE OF ACCOMMODATION (Size of family compared with number of rooms) Number of Rooms (excluding kitchen) " 1__ 2 3 1* 5 6 or more 7  9  Table 11*  11*  20  i i  i  5 5  16  1*9  12  OVERCROWDING JUDGED BY SLEEPING ACCOMMODATION: DISTRIBUTION AMONG FAMILIES OF DIFFERENT SIZE.  Size of Family (persons)  Total Number of Families  2  19  3  20  1*  5  5 or more  5  TOTAL  19  2  6  1 5 or more TOTAL  ~ Total  1*9  Number of OyerPercentage of crowded Families Overcrowded Families P.C. 5  li l 2  19  26.3 55.  20. 1*0.  38.7  -  Table 1 5  DQUBLED-UP FAMILIES: DISTRIBUTION ACCORDING TO SIZE  Size of Family (persons) 2 3 k*  TOTAL  Table 16  2  3  5 or more TOTAL  Families living i n shared accommodation  Total Number of Families  Percentage of Families i n shared accommodation P.C.  19 20 10  2 6  30.0  k9  8  16.3  10.5  ~  BATHROOM AND KITCBEN FACILITIES: DISTRIBUTION OF FAMILIES  Size of Family (persons)  U.  U3 -  Total Number  Families Sharing Bathroom Kitchen  19 20  11 11  5  1  5  2  k9  25  2  Families Using Living Room as Kitchen 1  3 1  5  2  Housing Inadequacies i n Relation to Family Needs, Income and Rent It i s impossible to discuss housing conditions without making some attempt to evaluate the adequacy of the accommodation available. The task i s complicated, however, by d i f f i c u l t i e s 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 i s 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,  f o r 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 f l o o r and i t s sleeping accommodation on another? Above a l l , how do the tenants themselves regard t h e i r accommodation? C l e a r l y there are two major aspects to the matter of housing inadequacy that need to be considered: these are (a) the q u a l i t y of the accommodati o n and of the environment and (b) the p a r t i c u l a r needs of each family. Detailed appraisal of the accommodation occupied by applicant f a m i l i e s was not f e a s i b l e , but information available i n the r e g i s t r a t i o n forms permitted c e r t a i n summary measurements to be made of the more s a l i e n t features of t h e i r housing conditions.  An important element i n  these measurements are the reasons given by applicants f o r wishing to move, since these help to interpret the conditions i n terms of people's l i v e s and homes. Examination of the forms showed that i t would be desirable to distinguish f i v e indices of housing inadequacy: (A) S t r u c t u r a l 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 c l a s s i f i c a t i o n was followed i n t a l l y i n g the d e f i -  ciencies recorded f o r each family i n the schedule, andby means of t h i s i t was possible to determine which c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of housing occurred most frequently.  inadequacy  I t was also possible to ascertain the d i s t r i -  bution of these inadequacies f o r each of the family groupings. Accommodation was considered s t r u c t u r a l l y defective i f there was clear evidence of t h i s 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 t h i s Chapter.  - us (confirmed where possible, by the Inspection Report).  Several f a m i l i e s  had applied f o r the L i t t l e Mountain housing project because t h e i r 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 t h i s ) , while, i n some cases, the buildings cons t i t u t e d 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 o l d and delapidated as to be structur a l l y unsound with sagging foundations, cracked walls and broken f l o o r i n g . 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 a d d i t i o n a l complaint i n these cases was the u n s u i t a b i l i t y of the neighbourhood  f o r bringing up a family.  Judged according to the presence of either one or several of these f a c t o r s , over one-third of the dwellings sampled f a i l e d to provide adequate accommodation. • F a c i l i t i e s ' r e f e r s to kitchen, bathroom and t o i l e t arrangements. Themajority of f a m i l i e s 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 p r i v a c y are maintained, and the water supply i s e f f i c i e n t . But i t can create serious problems of inconvenience, e s p e c i a l l y to the mother with young children, i f the f a c i l i t i e s are loeated on another f l o o r , or i f conditions are substandard or overcrowded i n other respects.  An  important f a c t o r i n the s i t u a t i o n i s the large amount of converted accommodation occupied by applicant f a m i l i e s , f o r 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 f a m i l i e s (7 per cent) had no proper kitchen at a l l the one room being used f o r l i v i n g , sleeping and eating purposes.  It  may be said that inadequate f a c i l i t i e s of one kind or another are a p a r t of the housing picture f o r approximately 36 per cent of the f a m i l i e s sampled. Overcrowding  shows up as the most serious of a l l the problems with  which f a m i l i e s 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 o l d and deteriorated properties. Naturally when overcrowding i s a l l i e d with s t r u c t u r a l inadequacies and poor f a c i l i t i e s , the consequences f o r the day;-to-day welfare of the r e s i dents are even more serious.  The standard applied i n c a l c u l a t i n g over-  crowding was comparatively low, being based on bedroom needs r e l a t e d to age and sex composition of the children (as defined above).  By t h i s  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 f a m i l i e s i s c l o s e r to three-quarters of the sample. An i n t e r e s t i n g s i d e l i g h t i s thrown on the whole question of standards by comparing the reasons given by applicants f o r wishing to move with t h e i r 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 t h i s ; conversely, when overcrowding quite obviously existed and was confirmed by the Inspection Report, t h i s f a c t o r was frequently not included among the reasons f o r wishing to move.  In such cases the reason given f o r applying  f o r L i t t l e Mountain was usually the termination of the family's present  - U7 tenancy.  The d i f f e r e n t 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 p a r t i c u l a r d i f f i c u l t y i n evaluating housing i n adequacy.  They also i n d i c a t e the i n e v i t a b l e lowering of standards which  occurs when f a m i l i e s h a b i t u a l l y have to make do with poor housing conditions. Under the index 'Family L i v i n g ' an attempt has been made to assess a d i f f e r e n t kind of material from that discussed so f a r ; namely, the Impact of inadequate housing on family l i f e .  The items used as measure-  ments of t h i s index are v i r t u a l l y t r a n s c r i p t s of some of the reasons quoted by applicants f o r wishing to move, and accordingly depict the s i t u a t i o n as i t appears to the f a m i l i e s 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 f a m i l i e s .  The d i f f i c u l t i e s might be brought about e i t h e r by the  physical u n s u i t a b i l i t y of the accommodation and neighbourhood, or by the reluctance of landlords to rent to f a m i l i e s with children.  A number of  young married couples had been given notice to quit a f t e r the b i r t h 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 e n t i r e l y  one of unsympathetic landlords, but of a general shortage of suitable family r e n t a l accommodation.  The problem becomes e s p e c i a l l y d i f f i c u l t to  resolve f o r the large family; i t was  noteworthy that among such f a m i l i e s  sampled several had been forced to board-out one o f two of t h e i r children because of t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to f i n d adequate housing f o r the whole family. In a number of cases f a m i l i e s had moved several times within the  previous  - U8 two years, moving from one kind of makeshift accommodation to another, and the wish was  expressed f o r an opportunity to e s t a b l i s h some more  permanent residence.  Complaints about lack of privacy were common, and  i n some cases applicants s p e c i f i c a l l y referred to the detrimental e f f e c t which the accommodation was  having on r e l a t i o n s h i p s within the family.  As might be expected, lack of privacy and strained family r e l a t i o n s h i p s were c h i e f l y 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 o n e - f i f t h of the cases sampled. Economic factors predominated i n approximately 28 per cent of cases.  Examples of high rents were r e l a t i v e l y few, but a number of f a -  m i l i e s considered t h e i r rent excessive i n terms of the kind of accommodati o n they were occupying, while others found that heavy f u e l costs made an otherwise moderate rent excessive.  Several f a m i l i e s had e i t h e r had  t h e i r rents r a i s e d or had been n o t i f i e d of an increase, and i n each case the amounts were substantial enough to place the accommodation outside t h e i r means.  A s i g n i f i c a n t number of f a m i l i e s mentioned the d i f f i c u l t y  of f i n d i n g suitable accommodation where children were accepted at rents they could a f f o r d to pay.  Clearly, whichever expedient these f a m i l i e s  resort to - paying an excessive rent or accepting i n f e r i o r accommodation the problem remains f o r them e s s e n t i a l l y a budget one. By means of the kind of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n described above i t i s possible to evaluate the adequacy of the accommodation i n summary form, but p a r t i c u l a r l y to r e l a t e i t to three d i f f e r e n t i a l s : the rent paid f o r the accommodation, the composition of the family and the family income (Table  17).  These s p e c i f i c s are a l l important and part of the "housing problem" f o r low and moderate income f a m i l i e s .  - 19 Table 17.  Relationship Between Types of Families, Incomes, and Rents, and Percentages of Housing Inadequacies ~~ (Sample L.M.A.'B')  Median Income Type  of  Family  ChiefEarner  Family Income  Monthly  Rent  Housing  A  B P.C.  C P.C.  D P.C.  P.C.  65'  29.3  3U.3  51.U  2U.3  31.8  -  U9  36.0  UU.O  80.0  32.0  20.0  30  -  60  U2.5  U2.5  ao.i  IU.6  27.6  35  30  -  58  U.6  U7.2  hU.li  16.6  27.7  223  50  30  -  61  52.6  26.3  36.8  15.7  31.5  210  282  50  31  -  5U  62.5  25.0  50.0  25.0  37.5  151  173  U5  27  -  70  27.2  27.2  9.0  27.2  220  229  15  35  -  60  55.0  23.3  28.3  !  Quartile Range  I  s  230  2bl  U6  39  -  2U6  250  37  30  Total Broken. Families a) Broken Families excluding composite broken households  155  170  36  157  165  Total Composite Households (a)Composite households i n which husband and wife are j o i n t heads (b)Composite households with only one parent as head  155  ALL  with 3 or more children  with Inade qua^e I n d 1 c e  P.C.  Median  9  'Normal' Families with up to 2 children  Percentage  E  (  FAMILIES  (a)  33.7  36.6  Indices: A Structural and Environmental B Facilities C Overcrowding D Family Living E Economic (For description of the items used as measurements of these indices see text)  l  - 5o In general, 'normal' f a m i l i e s with two children or. l e s s appear to have the l e a s t defective housing.  Even so, overcrowding and shaking o f  f a c i l i t i e s rank high among t h i s group ( 5k»k* ly).  and 3k»3  per cent respective-  The majority o f these f a m i l i e s are paying rents above the p r e v a i l i n g  l e v e l f o r the t o t a l sample, and i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that they also show the highest r a t i o o f cases i n which housing constitutes a budget  problem.  The s i t u a t i o n o f the large family with three o r more c h i l d r e n i s obviously a good deal worse.  On an average these f a m i l i e s are paying a  r e l a t i v e l y low rent, but the q u a l i t y o f t h e i r accommodation i s also low. Structural defects are recorded f o r more than one t h i r d o f the dwellings and nearly one h a l f 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 o f overcrowding - 80 per cent o f the f a m i l i e s having inadequate sleeping accommodation.  I t i s o f some significance that approximately  one out o f every three f a m i l i e s i n t h i s group r e f e r s to i t s housing cond i t i o n s as adversely a f f e c t i n g family well-being i n i n one way, or another. Broken f a m i l i e s which include one o r more r e l a t i v e s i n the household appear to be better o f f than f a m i l i e s i n which there i s j u s t the mother and her children.  The extra income available to the composite  broken households enables them to pay more rent than the broken f a m i l i e s without r e l a t i v e s (a t y p i c a l rent f o r the composite broken households i s $U5 a month compared with $35 f o r other broken f a m i l i e s ) and as a r e s u l t they appear t o be more successful i n f i n d i n g 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 r e maining broken f a m i l i e s ) .  There i s , however, a high incidence of structu-  r a l ijmdequacy i n the accommodation o f both groups, despite the differences  i n rents and i n the rates o f overcrowding.  Overcrowding and disturbed  '  family l i f e have obvious connections,, and i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that broken f a m i l i e s as a whole comment l e s s than any of the other family types on the  e f f e c t s of the accommodation on family l i v i n g .  The l e s s exacting  requirements of the broken family i n terms of sleeping accommodation may account f o r part of t h i s . " ^  Moreover, a grandparent l i v i n g i n the home  can be a source o f support to the widowed or deserted mother, whereas i n the  case of f a m i l i e s which have both parents, t h i s 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 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , however, of the d i f f e r e n t responses of applicant f a m i l i e s to t h e i r accommodation can be only conjectural.  Allowance must  be made f o r the degree of articulateness which i s required f o r a person to be able to describe poor housing i n terms of i t s e f f e c t on f a m i l y relationshipsj and there i s reason to believe that the worst housed famil i e s are often the l e a s t able to make t h e i r needs and preferences known. Obviously a great deal depends on the standards of adequacy adopted by the  f a m i l i e s themselves, and on the p a r t i c u l a r urgency of the s i t u a t i o n  at the time of applying.  For the most part, i t i s evident that applicant  f a m i l i e s drew attention only to the more s t r i k i n g and the more immediately pressing of the inadequacies i n t h e i r accommodation when giving t h e i r reasons f o r wishing to move.  ^ C f . ante p.Ul " "" 2) 'It was noted i n the preliminary examination of the r e g i s t r a t i o n forms that a large number o f incomplete, and poorly completed applications were from very low-income f a m i l i e s 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 f o r such f a m i l i e s 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 t h e i r obtaining improved housing conditions.  1  - 51 C r i t e r i a Used i n Rating Housing Inadequacy (Table A.  Structural and Environmental 1. 2. 3« lw 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.  B.  Crowded sleeping quarters (a)  Family L i v i n g 1. 2. 3. k* 5. 6. 7.  E.  Shared bathroom or t o i l e t Shared kitchen No separate kitchen: l i v i n g room used as kitchen.  Overcrowding 1.  D.  House condemned House to be demolished Dwelling s t r u c t u r a l l y unsound Dwelling constitutes a f i r e hazard Dampness (basements, walls o r roofj also serious flooding) Basement u n f i t f o r habitation 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) Inadequate heating Inadequate l i g h t or v e n t i l a t i o n Undesirable environment  Facilities 1. 2. 3.  C.  17)  Family prevented from l i v i n g together by lack of suitable accommodation Family relationships adversely affected by housing conditions. Lack of privacy More permanent residence desired Children not allowed by landlord Accommodation unsuitable f o r children. Lack of play space f o r children (either w i t h i n the dwelling or outside)  Economic 1. 2. 3. 1;. 5.  High rent Rent excessive i n r e l a t i o n to q u a l i t y of accommodation Excessive cost o f u t i l i t i e s Rent to be raised Impossible to f i n d 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 c a r e f u l e f f o r t was made to distinguish between the earnings o f the chief earner i n the family and the t o t a l income of a family which had more than one earner.  Family Allowance, Workmen" s Compensation, War  D i s a b i l i t y Pension, were included where they applied i n the earnings of the chief wage-earner; income accruing to any other member of the family, e i t h e r i n the form of wages, pension or allowance, was included under supplementary family earnings.  The proportion of f a m i l i e s with supple-  mentary earnings was found to be about 23 per cent of the f a m i l i e s sampled. When the income l e v e l s of the chief wage-earner are compared with those of the t o t a l family income (Tables 1 and 2 Appendix D), i t i s clear that supplementary earnings do not m a t e r i a l l y a l t e r the family income picture.  The median t o t a l family income i s $229 per month compared with  a median chief wage-earner income of $220 per month.  Separate  examination  of the 56 f a m i l i e s with supplementary earnings shows t h e i r median income to be only $U.OO per month more than the median f o r a l l the chief earners i n the sample.  I n approximately h a l f the number of f a m i l i e s with supple-  mentary earnings, the chief wage-earner earned l e s s than $125 per month. As the income of the chief earner increases, the presence of extra earners tends to augment family income to a f i g u r e i n excess of $300 per month. At no income l e v e l , however, do supplementary amounts form a preponderant proportion o f t o t a l earnings. While i t i s true that the economic p o s i t i o n of many f a m i l i e s 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 r e l a t i v e importance o f supplementary earnings f o r the  d i f f e r e n t family groupings i s c l e a r l y indicated i n Figure I .  $  INCOME.  * 14-0  T—  $2ZO  $260  1  1—  NORMAL FAMILIES W I T H UP TO 2 CHILDREN  »3QO  | 4.8%  NORMAL FAMILIES WITH 3 OR MORE CHILDREN  TOTAL  BROKEN  FAMILIES  ii I  1  9  7  %  PEBCENT  C H I E F  BROKEN) FAMILIES E X C L U D I N G BROKEN COMPOSITE FAMILIES  T O T A L COMPOSITE  )  1 5.1  %  1 4 3 . 9  INCREASE. OF TOTAL EARNER INCOME | % J F A M I L Y INCOME OVER CHIEF E A K . N E E INCOME  %  FAMILIES  COMPOSITE FAMILIES W I T H HUSBAND A N D W I F E A S JOINT MEADS  COMPOSITE FAMILIES WITH ONLY O N E PARENT A S HEAP  ALL  FAMILIES  | 34.3%  ]  I4.<Q%  4-A  %  Figur* I . Rtlationehip B«twen Chief-Earner Income and Total F t o l l y lneom» Compar»d with Typ« of P t o i l y  - 5U With the exception of the group of composite f a m i l i e s , the most that family income i s augmented by supplementary earnings i s 10 per cent, and i n the case of normal f a m i l i e s with three or more children i t i s as l i t t l e as 2 per cent.  The large composite family with a number of adult  earners obviously stands to gain most from supplementary earnings, but against t h i s must be set the f a c t that such f a m i l i e s need more housing accommodation. The group of broken f a m i l i e s was found to have the highest i n c i dence of supplementary, earnings, the extra earner u s u a l l y being an older c h i l d or a pensioned grandparent.  For these f a m i l i e s supplementary earnings  may mean the difference between a marginal existence and a reasonably adequate standard of l i v i n g , but i t i s important not to overestimate t h e i r influence on rent-paying capacity. I t i s worth noting t h a t the t o t a l family income f o r 2$ per cent of the broken f a m i l i e s sampled ranges between  $150  and $170 per month. I t has been necessary to examine the question of the multipleincome family i n some d e t a i l because of the several misconceptions surrounding i t .  I t i s commonly assumed, f o r example, that many f a m i l i e s  enjoy a large enough income by v i r t u e of the j o i n t earnings of husband and wife, to enable them to buy t h e i r own home i f they so wished.  Whatever  truth t h i s may have f o r f a m i l i e s above a c e r t a i n income l e v e l , the findings of the present study suggest that i t i s an -unrealistic assumption f o r f a m i l i e s within the income range with which we are here dealing.  Even  when supplementary earnings account f o r a r e l a t i v e l y high l e v e l of family income i t i s questionable whether they should be included i n assessing family capacity to pay f o r housing.  These earnings are subject to consid-  - 55 erable f l u c t u a t i o n and, i n some cases, may be already committed to c e r t a i n necessary expenditures.  I t was found that a large proportion of  f a m i l i e s i n which both husband and wife were working were married couples expecting t h e i r f i r s t c h i l d .  One of t h e i r reasons f o r applying f o r L i t t l e  Mountain was that with the b i r t h of the c h i l d the wife would have to give up working, and the diminur.tion i n f a m i l y income would coincide with the need f o r more housing accommodation.  In a number of other cases the wife  was working i n order to pay o f f medical b i l l s , or to help out with the high rent which i t had been necessary to pay f o r 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 rentpaying capacity should not be assessed on the basis of t o t a l family income. I t i s a d i f f e r e n t matter altogether i n the case of home-ownership when a family's housing i s dependent upon f i x e d payments extending over 20 years or more.  Family Income and Family Structure The d i s t r i b u t i o n of income i s the basic f a c t from which a l l d i s cussion of the need f o r low-rent housing must proceed, f o r t h i s the rents people can a f f o r d to pay without s t r a i n i n g the budget. 1  determines I t also  gives an i n d i c a t i o n of the number who might a c t u a l l y be able to consider "building f o r themselves." In ordea? to q u a l i f y f o r entrance to the L i t t l e Mountain project applicant f a m i l i e s must have a t o t a l income of not l e s s than $115 (Old  per month,  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 o f dependents.  -  These income l i m i t s undoubtedly comprise between  them the greater part of the need f o r low-rent housing, but i t i s important  to note that c e r t a i n s i g n i f i c a n t elements are excluded by the o f f i c i a l  p o l i c y not to accept applications from f a m i l i e s on s o c i a l assistance or from those i n which the chief wage-earner i s unemployed.  Nevertheless, a  small number of f a m i l i e s i n these two categories d i d apply f o r accommodation i n the project, and a portion of these are included i n both samples on the understanding that the need f o r low-rental housing cannot be r e s t r i c t e d to those f a m i l i e s only who meet the conditions of e l i g i b i l i t y . Sample LMA  'A' d i f f e r s i n one important respect from sample LMA  'B'  i n that i t includes applicant f a m i l i e s whose incomes exceeded the prescribed maximum. Sample LMA  As a r e s u l t , the median and q u a r t i l e income l e v e l s f o r  'A' are generally higher than those f o r sample IMA  Tables 3 and 5 Appendix D).  'B' (See  Apart from t h i s 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. b u t i o n of income based on sample LMA  The  distri-  'B' may be regarded as more t r u l y  representative of the f i n a n c i a l status of low-income applicants, and the discussion below refers to t h i s sample. Clearly, i n considering income d i s t r i b u t i o n simple averages are not much use as a guide, and i t i s necessary also to distinguish d i f f e r e n t types of f a m i l i e s .  Provided these guards against easy generalization are  kept i n mind, i t can be s a i d that the average ( a c t u a l l y , the median" ^) 1  chief earner income among a p p l i c a n t f a m i l i e s i s around $220 per month.  1) The median i s the middle term of a group arranged i n order of s i z e j the quartiles are the measurement one-quarter and three-quarters along the range respectively. Thus between them they show the l i m i t s of the most representative middle h a l f of a l l the cases. For t h i s reason, and because they are completely unaffected by extreme cases at either end of the scale, they are much more r e l i a b l e than ordinary averages (arithmetic mean), and t h i s type or measurement i s here used throughout.  - 57  -  It i s more accurate to say that the most t y p i c a l incomes range between $155  and #255, and that account must be taken of the divergences from  the o v e r a l l average.  For example, over 31 per cent of chief earners  have incomes ranging between $150  and $225 (Table 1 Appendix D), and when  t o t a l family income i s taken as the measurement, the number of f a m i l i e s i n t h i s earnings bracket i s s l i g h t l y higher. An i n t e r e s t i n g 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 o f f than t h i s . Clearly, i f we disregard the cost to families of suitable housing at  current r e n t a l l e v e l s , economic hardship i s not a major problem f o r  many of the families sampled.  This, however, i s by no means true of a l l  f a m i l i e s , 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 l e v e l f o r f a m i l y income i s c e r t a i n l y  that of $150 per month, f o r below t h i s i t would be d i f f i c u l t for' a f a m i l y to maintain health and decency over any long period, while i t would be i n e v i t a b l y threatened by l o s s 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  t h i s l e v e l and even when supplementary  earnings are taken into account,  more than 10 per cent of f a m i l i e s f a l l i n t h i s low income category.  Old  age pension couples are among these cases and t h e i r p l i g h t i s w e l l r e cognized.  There are also e l d e r l y couples l i v i n g on annuities which  may,  i n some cases, be supplemented by the earnings of the other partner or of an adult c h i l d ; f o r such families the economic s t r a i n i s l e s s 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, c a l l e d f o r about $132 per month, excluding rent, f o r a family of 2 adults and 1 c h i l d , i n f r a p . i i . .  - 58 The s i t u a t i o n i s e s p e c i a l l y serious f o r f a m i l i e s dependent on some form o f p u b l i c assistance, and f o r 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 s i g n i f i c a n t number  of such cases were found i n both samples, and the numbers would almost c e r t a i n l y be greater i f f a m i l i e s on S o c i a l Assistance had been e l i g i b l e to a p p l y . ^  I t was noted that broken f a m i l i e s i n which the mother was  e i t h e r widowed o r separated from the father accounted f o r a large portion of t h i s low-income group. The summaries i n Table 18, which comprise the most s i g n i f i c a n t family groupings found among the sample o f applicants, i l l u s t r a t e the r e l a t i o n between income and f a m i l y type i n a form which i s easy t o understand. Table 18  INCOME OF CHIEF EARNER COMPARED WITH TYPE OF FAMILY (Sample LMA 'B')  Type o f Family  Median Income per month  Quartile Range per month 1 s t Quartile 3 r d Quartile  *  *  $  230 21*6  189 201  260 260  Total Broken Families (a) broken f a m i l i e s excluding composite broken households  155  121  157  121  T o t a l Composite Households (a) Composite households i n which husband & wife are j o i n t heads  155  119  210  107  2U9  151  116  161  $220  $155  1  Normal  1  Families with up to 2 children 3 c h i l d r e n or more  (b) Composite households with only one parent as head ALL FAMILIES 1)  -  175  -  179 215  -  $255  A separate study confirms the f a c t that many f a m i l i e s on S o c i a l Assistance are l i v i n g i n inadequate housing and paying a disproportionate amount o f t h e i r grant on rent. The majority of these f a m i l i e s have only one parent i n the home and o f course t h e i r t o t a l family income i s often much l e s s than $150. Warren A. Wilson, Housing Conditions Among S o c i a l Assistance Families, Master o f S o c i a l Work t h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1955.  - 59 The group of normal f a m i l i e s -with up to two children approximate most nearly the o v e r a l l average f o r the t o t a l sample.  Larger f a m i l i e s  with three or more c h i l d r e n tend to have higher incomesj t y p i c a l l y $2l;6, and most of them ranging between |201  and $280 per month.  The  influence  of a d d i t i o n a l family allowance contributions i s apparent i n these f i g u r e s , and i n some cases the higher income may  a r i s e from the f a c t that the father  of the large family i s often an older man capacity.  and i n the prime of h i s earning  R e l a t i v e l y 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 corresponding increase i n the amount of necessary family  expenditures.  This consideration i s p a r t i c u l a r l y pertinent to the case of the composite family among whose members may wage-earner.  be numbered more than one  1  adult  Among such f a m i l i e s studied, the j o i n t incomes amounted to  a sizeable f i g u r e , but i t i s important to remember that these households v i r t u a l l y comprise two d i s t i n c t f a m i l i e s with correspondingly l i v i n g expenses.  greater •  Often the reason f o r establishing a common household i s  an economic one, and, considered l i e s may be quite low.  separately, the incomes of the two  fami-  The income recorded f o r the chief earner indicates  one l e v e l of t h e i r rent-paying  capacity.  Prevailing Rents What rents were these f a m i l i e s paying when they applied f o r 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, d i s t r i b u t e d among the  four main types - (1) single houses, (2) shared single houses, (3) ments and suites, and (U)  rooming houses - are furnished and  apart-  unfurnished  - 60 -  accommodation, and d i f f e r e n t modes of tenancy. ^ 1  The majority of applicants sampled were d i r e c t tenants (not holding a sub-lease from another tenant, or doubling up or boarding with someone e l s e ) , and were paying f o r unfurnished  quarters.  In some cases the rent  charged included heat as w e l l as l i g h t , but mostly t h i s was expense borne by the tenants themselves.  an a d d i t i o n a l  Families sharing single houses  were u s u a l l y better placed f i n a n c i a l l y , 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 t h i s term covered varying degrees of adequacy, and even when heat and l i g h t were included i n the rent the f u e l costs f o r cooking would be extra and often on an expensive meter system. Disregarding whether f u r n i t u r e or u t i l i t i e s are included or not, an analysis of the r e n t a l s i t u a t i o n shows the most t y p i c a l rent p a i d to be $1*5 a month,with h a l f of a l l the f a m i l i e s sampled paying between $35 $60 a month. (Table 6 Appendix D).  and  There was plenty of housing renting f o r  higher figures - rents of $80 or more were not uncommon - but the tendency for rents to c l u s t e r between $35 and $55 a month i s much more s t r i k i n g . In i t s choice of accommodation a family i s guided p r i m a r i l y by  two  considerations; namely, the rent i t i s able to a f f o r d , and i t s needs i n terms of family s i z e .  I t i s convenient to examine i n the form of Figure 2  the r e n t a l s i t u a t i o n produced by the play of these two f a c t o r s f o r each of the family groups.  A few estimates were necessary i n the case of i n c l u s i v e terms covering some board as w e l l as lodging, f a m i l i e s l i v i n g t o gether and sharing expenses, and where services were given by the tenant i n part payment of rent.  61 -  t20_  3D  50  40  i  — i —  60  70  — i —  'Normal' F a m i l i e s w i t h up t o 2 C h i l d r e n  Qi  Md  'Normal' Fam i l i e s w i t h 3 C h i l d r e n  Q,  Ma  T o t a l Broken F a m i l i e s  Broken F a m i l i e s e x c l u d i n g composite b r o k e n Households  Q,  Md  T o t a l Composite Households  Composite Households i n whioh Husband and Wife a r e J o i n t Heads  Composite Households w i t h o n l y one P a r e n t as Head  Md  All  ©3  Families 4,  Md  Qs  A l l Tenant-Oocupied Non-Farm D w e l l i n g s M e t r o p o l i t a n Vancouver (1951)  F i g u r e 2.  Median and Q u a r t i l e Rent L e v e l s 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 D w e l l i n g s M e t r o p o l i t a n Vanoouver. 1951. (Based on T a b l e 7 Sample L.MJU'B' and Census(1951)"Housing and F a m i l i e s " T a b l e 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 f a m i l i e s sampled, 'normal' f a m i l i e s with three or more children were paying on an average $9 a month l e s s than smaller f a m i l i e s the t y p i c a l rent being $37,  and most of the rents varying between $30  and  $1*9 a month. I t i s evident that, f o r the most part, the comparatively  low rent  i s due to the i n f e r i o r type of accommodation which many of these f a m i l i e s are forced to occupy - e i t h e r because t h i s i s the only kind where large f a m i l i e s are accepted, or because adequate accommodation rents at a f i g u r e beyond t h e i r means. (The two reasons r e a l l y amount to the same thing as f a r as the tenant family i s concerned, but the d i s t i n c t i o n 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.) I t i s worth noting that i n Sample LMA. 'A' which includes applicants with higher incomes, the tendency i s f o r rents to increase with the s i z e of family (see Table 8 Appendix D).  The t y p i c a l rent paid by the large  f a m i l i e s i s $53 a month, with sizeable numbers paying up to $63,  compared  with an average rent of $1*7 f o r the group of f a m i l i e s with two c h i l d r e n or l e s s ; but even with higher rents many of these large f a m i l i e s were s t i l l inadequately housed.  C l e a r l y a minimum rent-paying capacity i s necessary  before the large family can expect to f i n d accommodation suited to i t s needs, and a l l the evidence suggests that t h i s i s c e r t a i n l y not l e s s than $60 a month. The composite households t y p i c a l l y pay between $30 and $ 6 l , $50 a month.  averaging  Although t h i s rent i s higher than the p r e v a i l i n g l e v e l f o r  - 63 -  the t o t a l sample, i t i s doubtful whether i t i s s u f f i c i e n t to provide f o r the extra accommodation which, by v i r t u e o f i t s composition, t h i s kind' of household requires.  The f a c t that many composite households are paying  rents as low as $30 suggests that the q u a l i t y of the accommodation i s low whether measured by poor f a c i l i t i e s or overcrowding. S i m i l a r l y , the r e l a t i v e l y low average rent ($36) paid by broken f a m i l i e s may also be regarded as an index o f the i n f e r i o r q u a l i t y of t h e i r accommodation.  For such low-income f a m i l i e s as these the choice i s  severely l i m i t e d , and they tendfor the most part to occupy the poorest accommodation simply because i t i s the only k i n d a v a i l a b l e a t a rent which they can a f f o r d .  I t i s worth noting that a survey o f housing conditions  of f a m i l i e s on s o c i a l assistance showed the median rent paid to be $37 a month, with the majority of accommodation renting a t t h i s figure of spec i f i c a l l y low q u a l i t y . ^ I t i s evident f o r the most part that the f a m i l i e s applying f o r accommodation i n the L i t t l e Mountain project are paying moderate rents. The p r e v a i l i n g l e v e l i s not much higher than what i t was i n 1901 f o r a l l tenant occupied dwellings i n metropolitan Vancouver - t y p i c a l l y $1*5, compared with a median rent o f $1*1 f o r the metropolitan area and $1L3 f o r the C i t y o f Vancouver i n 1901 (Figure 2).  I t i s e s s e n t i a l , however, to  understand why these rents are i n c l i n e d to be on the low side.  An  important point i s that the greater part of the housing occupied by these f a m i l i e s i s both o l d and converted; and o l d housing dictates the rent pattern.  Moreover, much of the accommodation was s t i l l under rent control  when these f a m i l i e s made t h e i r applications; several f a m i l i e s indicated  ' Wilson, op. c i t . , p. 1*7  - 61; that t h e i r rent was  to be increased as soon as rent control was  and these increases have become more common since A p r i l 1950.  lifted Whether'  rents are r e a l l y low or not depends on what the tenant gets f o r h i s money, and t h i s 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 r e l a t i o n s h i p between rents and q u a l i t y of accommodation hasalready been alluded to i n Chapter 2 and i t w i l l be convenient here to r e f e r again to Table 17 i n that chapter.  The precise measurement of housing  inadequacies i n r e l a t i o n to family needs, incomes, and rents presents  ob-  vious d i f f i c u l t i e s , but t h i s material i s of such c e n t r a l importance to any housing survey that some method, however summary, must be found of evaluating 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 t h i s material and presenting i t i n a form  that i s easy to understand. The index of s t r u c t u r a l and environmental inadequacies provides clear evidence of the deteriorated character of much of the accommodation. More than one t h i r d of a l l the f a m i l i e s sampled were occupying accommodation that either had important s t r u c t u r a l defects or was area.  located i n a run-down  The tendency, as one might expect, i s f o r the incidence of these  defects to increase as rents f a l l below a c e r t a i n l e v e l j f o r the f a m i l i e s sampled t h i s 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 s t r i k i n g exception i n the case of the composite households. Despite the r e l a t i v e l y high average rent paid by these households - $50  a  month compared with a median rent of $li£ f o r the t o t a l sample - more than one - h a l f of t h e i r accommodation suffered from these p a r t i c u l a r defects.  - 65 There i s f a i r l y clear evidence that the extra rent which these f a m i l i e s have to pay i n order to meet t h e i r housing needs i s s t i l l not s u f f i c i e n t to command r e a l l y s a t i s f a c t o r y 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 f a m i l i e s are inadequately housed.  Included  In t h i s figure are a number of f a m i l i e s doubling up with r e l a t i v e s i n single houses, but a large portion i s made up of f a m i l i e s occupying dwell i n g s 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 r e l a t i v e l y low rent, a t y p i c a l rent being about $36 a month compared with the p r e v a i l i n g l e v e l f o r the whole sample of $1*5.  Less reassuring i s the f a c t that t h i s kind of accommodation i s c h i e f l y  occupied by f a m i l i e s with 3 or more children and by broken f a m i l i e s . Conversions and overcrowding have some obvious connection. the 21*0 families sampled, the o v e r a l l rate of overcrowding"^  Among  i s 55 per cent,  while the r a t i o i s considerably higher (80 per cent) among larger f a m i l i e s with 3 or more children.  These rates are s t r i k i n g enough i n themselves,  but when they are r e l a t e d 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 f o r the group of composite broken * households where approximately one f a m i l y out of f o u r i s overcrowded) and bears no s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n to the amount of rent paid.  Families paying  a median rent of between $1*5 and $50 are j u s t as badly o f f - i f not worse o f f - i n t h i s 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 o f any marked c o r r e l a t i o n between rent l e v e l s and adequacy of accommodation i s one of the most s i g n i f i c a n t features of the housing s i t u a t i o n f o r f a m i l i e s applying to L i t t l e Mountain.  Although many  of the f a m i l i e s could a f f o r d a higher rent than they are, i n a c t u a l i t y , paying, the difference would s t i l l not be s u f f i c i e n t to assure them adequate accommodation.  I t would be necessary f o r a family to spend an ex-  cessive proportion of i t s income on rent to obtain housing r e a l l y suitable to i t s needs.  A number of the f a m i l i e s sampled had chosen to do t h i s ,  accepting the f i n a n c i a l s t r a i n s involved, i n preference to l i v i n g i n unsuitable housing and staying within t h e i r budget.  C l e a r l y t h i s i s no  r e a l answer to the problem, since f i n a n c i a l s t r a i n can be j u s t as damaging to a family's health and morale as any p h y s i c a l d e f i c i e n c y i n the accommodation.  Rents i n Relation to Income The close r e l a t i o n between income and rent i s recognized i n the well-established formula that f a m i l i e s below a c e r t a i n l e v e l should not pay more than o n e - f i f t h of t h e i r monthly income f o r rent.  This i s supported as  a desirable maximum r a t i o by most authorities on the subject o f low-rental housing, and also secures substantial confirmation from various studies on family income and expenditure i n Great B r i t a i n , United States and Canada. ^ 1  Analysis o f the income-rent d i s t r i b u t i o n of the two samples confirms the impression recorded previously i n t h i s study that excessive rents are not as serious a problem f o r applicant f a m i l i e s as overcrowding and the i n adequacy of the accommodation.  S u p e r f i c i a l l y i t might seem that income and  r e n t a l adjustments have already been f a i r l y w e l l 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 o n e - f i f t h of the s t a t i s t i c a l average of a l l incomes (Table 19).  This r a t i o , which i s  s u b s t a n t i a l l y adhered to i n the case of the d i f f e r e n t family groupings, i s of some significance i n view of the tendency nowadays to assume that f a m i l i e s should be able to pay closer to one quarter (25 per cent) of t h e i r income f o r rent.  C l e a r l y , whatever rent-paying opacity may be  assumed f o r them, the f a m i l i e s themselves f o r the most part are not accustomed to devote more than one f i f t h of t h e i r budgets to rent. Table 19  PROPORTIONS OF INCOME SPENT ON RENT BY DIFFERENT TYPES OF FAMILIES  Type o f Family  S a m p l e LMA 'A' S a m p 1 e LMA' 'B' Median Median Percent- Median Median Percentage Income Rent age of Income Rent of Chief Income Chief Income Earner Earner P.C. P.C. $ 1 * *.  •Normal' f a m i l i e s with up to 2 children 3 children or more  21*0  1*7  19.5  230  1*6  20.0  271  53  19.5  21*6  37  15.0  Total Broken Families  11*6  38  25.9  155  36  23.2  216  53  2l*.5  155  50  3 7 > 2  220  1*5  20.1*  u  Total" Composite Households ALL FAMILIES  .{&)  236  19.2  ( a )  (a)  , The .difference between the two samples i s explained by the f a c t that sample LMA 'B' includes a larger proportion of broken composite households whose rent-income r a t i o s are generally higher than those f o r 'normal' composite households.  I t would be a mistake, however, to assume that the o v e r a l l s t a t i s t i c a l average alone indicates the whole rent s i t u a t i o n to be s a t i s f a c t o r y .  - 68 Such an average may w e l l occur i f the excessive rents p a i d by  low-  income f a m i l i e s are balanced by the r e l a t i v e l y easier rents paid by the higher income f a m i l i e s .  Accordingly i t i s important to consider the  range of actual income and r e n t a l d i s t r i b u t i o n . 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 a c t u a l l y paid and the rent which would be i n operation i f i t were i n f a c t o n e - f i f t h of the family income.  ( I t i s convenient to refer to t h i s l a t t e r as the  "proportionate r e n t " ) .  To f a c i l i t a t e these comparisons rent i n t e r v a l s  which approximate to o n e - f i f t h of income at s p e c i f i e d income l e v e l s have been used i n the c r o s s - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n 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, f o r f a m i l i e s with incomes of $200 - $225'a.month. The actual income-rent r a t i o s of f a m i l i e s do not of course f i t these categories. By means of t h i s kind of tabulation (Table 9 Appendix D) the d i s t r i b u t i o n i s shown of f a m i l i e s at various income l e v e l s who a disproportionate rent.  are paying  A l l the f a m i l i e s to the r i g h t of the stepped  l i n e are paying rents i n excess of one f i f t h of t h e i r income - the o v e r a l l rate f o r the t o t a l sample being nearly 53 per cent. The r e n t a l s i t u a t i o n i s presented somewhat d i f f e r e n t l y i n Figure 3 where incomes have been translated into rent-paying capacity, using f i f t h as a standard basis.  one-  The contrast between the pattern of d i s t r i b u t i o n  of actual rents paid and what i t would be i f rents were o n e - f i f t h of income, is instructive.  - 69Rent Iarrels 15.4 p.c.  * over  9.6 p.o.  $60-64  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  13.0 p.o.  J  5.4 p.o.  9.0 p.e. II.2 p.o.  $30-34  6.6 p.o. $25-29  A C T U A L PROPORTION O F FAMILIES A P P e O T R I A T C PWWOCTIOH O r CAMILIE'  . m *»°  _  _ P.O.  2.5 p.e. $20-24  10.0 p.e.  Under $20  3.9 p.e. 7.0 p.e. 10 Figure 3,  15  20 P.C.  Actual Proportion of Families a t Speelfied Rent Level8 compared with D i s t r i b u t i o n Aaeording to Proportionate Rent-Paying Capacity (Based on Tables i ft e Appendix u)  - 70 There i s obviously no uniform tendency f o r rents to equal onef i f t h of income, and the only consistent feature that can be i d e n t i f i e d i s the marked degree o f scatter o f r e n t a l classes i n a l l income groups. For example, there are many f a m i l i e s with incomes of l e s s than $200 per month who are spending an excessive proportion of t h e i r income on rent and, conversely, many f a m i l i e s i n the |>200-$300 earnings group whose actual rents are l e s s than they could t h e o r e t i c a l l y a f f o r d to pay. The s i t u a t i o n appears more c l e a r l y defined when Figure 3 i s considered i n conjunction with Table 20.  I t i s evident f o r the most part that the  families represented at the lower end of the scale, f o r whom a proportionate rent would be something l e s s than $35 a month, are worse o f f on two counts than f a m i l i e s whose t h e o r e t i c a l rent-paying capacity i s between $50 and $60 a month.  Not only do a larger proportion o f these f a m i l i e s  pay disproportionate rents, but a t that low-income l e v e l (under $175 a month) a small increase of rent (or a small decline of income) i s o f very great s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r the family budget.  Families i n the higher income  brackets are better able to meet these contingencies without endangering the minimum expenditures required f o r healthy l i v i n g . Table 20  DISTRIBUTION OF INDIVIDUAL FAMILY RENT - EARNINGS PERCENTAGES CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO SPECIFIED EARNINGS  / ttAcUr too  l o  /OO  A / c o /~\ £T /«•<?  /o.o  /SoI7Y-  <_.H / e; pr  OF '75--  II-X  S.  7o. 1  (,1. 4"  14.  l A / 1 9 £ T - CP, l\Mtz  A  l-O o -  XSQ37if  IS.M.  18  O  ins 3oo  -  III  JK. Ov«r 3c o  2-5  loo  >» 3  51-9  Ptrct-ntmy*. Of. c-S'* ISO  Li b  Si.  i  IS.  J  i t i s noteworthy to f i n d the closest approximation between 'actual  1  and 'proportionate' rents occurring i n the $kQ-$kk r e n t a l c l a s s ,  which, translated i n terms of income, means that f a m i l i e s earning between $200 and $22l* a month are most i n c l i n e d to spend o n e - f i f t h of t h e i r i n come on shelter.  (Actually, 25 per cent of f a m i l i e s i n t h i s earning  group pay a proportionate r e n t ) .  Above t h i s l e v e l there are a number of  f a m i l i e s paying excessive rents (sometimes $80 or more a month) but, more s t r i k i n g and more numerous, are the f a m i l i e s paying considerably l e s s than a proportionate rent.  The v a r i a t i o n s i n t h i s case are too disparate to be  i d e n t i f i e d with the commonly observed tendency f o r tenant f a m i l i e s to spend proportionately l e s s on shelter as t h e i r l e v e l of income r i s e s , and any adequate i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of these differences must take i n t o account v a r i a b l e personal factors as w e l l as objective economic f a c t s . 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 t h e i r choice of a place to l i v e ; they can either pay an excessive rent and cut down on other e s s e n t i a l s as w e l l as the amenities of l i f e , i n order to obtain suitable housing, or they can occupy i n f e r i o r accommodation which i s r e l a t i v e l y low rent. Obviously the importance that housing occupies i n a family's scale of values w i l l a f f e c t the lengths i t i s prepared to go i n order to obtain accommodation which i t urgently needs; i t Is no l e s s evident that there are severely p r a c t i c a l l i m i t s , depending on family size and income, to the amount of r e a l choice which a family has.  The larger-income f a m i l i e s have  some f l e x i b i l i t y i n the proportions spent on food, c l o t h i n g and shelter, but at the lower l e v e l s of income, where household expenditures approximate more and more c l o s e l y to the b a s i c n e c e s s i t i e s of l i v i n g , t h i s  - 72 f l e x i b i l i t y disappears.  I f 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 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 basic standard of living. The Welfare Council of Greater Toronto i n publications since 1939, and most recently revised in A GUIDE TO FAMILY SPENDING (1902) has caref u l l y 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 i n 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 generalizations which help to focus attention on the more important considerat: 2) * . ions. On the basis of these family budgets i t i s 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 onex  ' I t i s not possible to estimate minimum living costs for a representative composite household on account of the wide differences i n 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, i n Toronto. There i s a f a i r l y close correspondence between the costs of goods and services i n Toronto and i n Vancouver. In general, there has been no great change i n the cost of living since 1952.  - 73 f i f t h of t h e i r income f o r rent.  These minimum income measurements furnish  a useful gauge f o r evaluating family capacity to pay f o r housing without s t r a i n i n g the budget, and i t i s i n s t r u c t i v e to apply t h i s guage to the actual income l e v e l s of the f a m i l i e s applying f o r L i t t l e Mountain. (See Table 21).  Since economic pressure may most l o g i c a l l y be looked f o r among  those families with incomes below the general average, the f i g u r e s of the q u a r t i l e range have been chosen f o r the purposes of  Table 21  comparison.  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  Minimum Income Required to Maintain Standard of. L i v i n g and Pay One-Fifth Income f o r Rent  Type of Family  'Normal' f a m i l i e s - 2 adults and 1 c h i l d » 2 children , " 3 children Broken Family 1 adult & 2 childrenU ) Source:  (a)  165 199 227  138  Incomes of Families Applying f o r L i t t l e Mountain Quartile Range  200- 261 217-275 201- 260* 121-175  Derived from summary tables of A Guide to Family Spending and r e g i s t r a t i o n forms of sample of a p p l i cants (LMA 'B') to L i t t l e Mountain. This p a r t i c u l a r size and composition of family Is more or l e s s representative of the group of broken f a m i l i e s sampled.  The e f f e c t on rent capacity of family size shows up c l e a r l y i n the table above.  For the most part, normal f a m i l i e s with either one or two  children who applied f o r L i t t l e Mountain were able to a f f o r d o n e - f i f t h of t h e i r income f o r rent, and also to enjoy a reasonable margin of safety  - Ik above the minimum required f o r healthy l i v i n g .  The s i t u a t i o n f o r the  large family -with three or more children i s altogether d i f f e r e n t . Approximately 1*0 per cent of these f a m i l i e s had i n s u f f i c i e n t income (e.g. l e s s than $227 per month) to enable them to meet e s s e n t i a l household expenditures and also pay o n e - f i f t h of t h e i r income f o r rent.  When viewed  i n t h i s perspective i t becomes c l e a r why t h i s group of f a m i l i e s were, i n a c t u a l i t y , spending on an average l e s s than one-sixth of t h e i r income on rent.  Not only do large f a m i l i e s need more housing accommodation, but  they have l e s s funds available f o r obtaining i t a f t e r the minimum household expenditures have been met.  The consequences o f t h i s i n terms of  lower housing standards have been described i n Chapter 2. Although the accommodation needs o f the broken family are usually not as great as f o r the family with both parents i n the home, t h e i r lower earning power places a severely p r a c t i c a l l i m i t to rents which are economic or desirable.  I t i s worth noting that the Toronto Welfare Council  standard budget of income required f o r maintaining minimum health and decency, c a l l s f o r about $138 f o r a family consisting of mother'and two school-age c h i l d r e n , of which only about $27.00 can be s a f e l y spared f o r rent.  The f i g u r e s of the q u a r t i l e range show that c e r t a i n l y o n e - f i f t h  or more broken f a m i l i e s applying to L i t t l e Mountain had incomes considerably below t h i s l e v e l .  Moreover, the proportion of income spent on rent by  t h i s group of families was closer to one-quarter than o n e - f i f t h .  It i s  evident that i f f a m i l i e s have to pay more f o r rent than they can a f f o r d they w i l l be forced to pare down other e s s e n t i a l expenditures.  Over a  period o f years t h i s may have harmful e f f e c t s on health; i t may even more e a s i l y create other forms of deprivation or discontent.  - IS I t 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 e n t i r e l y upset the budget.  Accordingly,  the number of f a m i l i e s i n exiguous circumstances i s a c t u a l l y greater than the sum of those whose incomes and s i z e d e f i n i t e l y 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 l e v e l below which the commonly accepted formula f o r rent capacity must be applied with considerable d i s c r e t i o n .  This c r i t i c a l margin i s at  a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l for f a m i l i e s of d i f f e r e n t s i z e s , and rests upon the recognition of a "standard" of l i v i n g .  "Below t h i s l e v e l i t may w e l l be  argued that the true rent capacity of f a m i l i e s i s not o n e - f i f t h of income, but only what remains a f t e r the costs of maintaining the desirable standard of l i v i n g have been met."^  Rent-Paying Cpacities of Families What sort of rents could the f a m i l i e s applying f o r accommodation i n the L i t t l e Mountain p r o j e c t a f f o r d to pay?  For reasons which are  ex-  plained i n the f i r s t part of t h i s chapter, the standard adopted i n t h i s study f o r assessing family budget capacity has been the income of the chief earner.  In evaluating the capacity to pay f o r p u b l i c housing, however, i t  i s reasonable to assess the t o t a l incomes of f a m i l i e s , and not only the incomes of the heads, since provision can be made i n a public project f o r adjusting rents to the f l u c t u a t i o n s which i n e v i t a b l y occur i n family income. Accordingly, the estimates of rent capacity which follow r e l a t e to the t o t a l incomes of families and not merely to the income of the c h i e f earner. I) Humphrey Carver, Houses for Canadians, U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press,  191*8, p. 81*.  - 76 For  the sample as a whole, the most t y p i c a l incomes range between  $180 and $26k, which i s equivalent to saying that i n average terms famil i e s applying f o r L i t t l e Mountain need housing f o r about $35 - $53 a month. Averages, however, as i n a l l matters influenced by the unequal d i s t r i b u t i o n of income, provide only a f i r s t approximation to the detailed s i t u a t i o n , and i t i s necessary to d i s t i n g u i s h further the income l e v e l s f o r the d i f ferent types of f a m i l i e s .  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 r e n t a l formula to the quartile range of income shows that the group of normal f a m i l i e s with two children or l e s s 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 t h i s group whose actual incomes are a good deal l e s s than the average f o r the group as a whole.  These couples are mostly e l d e r l y people who, i f not  a c t u a l l y dependent on some form o f pension, have very r e s t r i c t e d earningpower.  Another important element to be considered are the f a m i l i e s 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 r a r e l y 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 a f f o r d i s $35 a month, and any adequate plan f o r them would need to provide accommodation  renting f o r as l i t t l e as $20.  The relationship between family s i z e and rent capacity i s recognized i n the generally accepted formula that a proportionate rent f o r f a m i l i e s with three or more dependent children i s not o n e - f i f t h of family income but one-sixth.  Assessed on t h i s basis, the group of normal f a m i l i e s with three  or more children could afford to pay rents ranging from  $35-IU5  a month.  I t 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 t h e i r income f o r rent and also maintain a minimum standard of l i v i n g .  A practical starting  rent f o r such families would be nearer $30. Broken f a m i l i e s account f o r some of the lowest incomes found i n the sample, and i t i s therefore necessary when assessing t h e i r rent-paying capacity to apply the o n e - f i f t h standard with d i s c r e t i o n .  In average -terms  these families could a f f o r d to pay between $30 and $1*0 a month, but f o r some of the families who do not have r e l a t i v e s l i v i n g with them a lower rent of $ 2 5 would be more appropriate. The group of composite f a m i l i e s which have both husband and wife i n the home present p a r t i c u l a r d i f f i c u l t i e s i n regard to i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of rent capacity. Most of these households include two d i s t i n c t family u n i t s , one of which i s u s u a l l y of low income.  In these cases the reason f o r  establishing the j o i n t household i s frequently an economic one, and i t i s probable that many of the f a m i l i e s would prefer to l i v e on t h e i r own i f accommodation were available a t a rent they could a f f o r d .  Accordingly,  although the t o t a l incomes of these households are unusually high, they may create a f a l s e impression of the realcapacity of the f a m i l i e s to pay f o r a self-contained dwelling u n i t .  The figures r e l a t i n g to the income of the  chief earner indicate one l e 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 f a m i l i e s could i n f a c t a f f o r d to pay. Summarizing, i t i s possible to distinguish two broad ranges of rent  capacity among applicant f a m i l i e s . and marginal incomes who  There are those with sub-marginal'  cannot a f f o r d a proportionate rent and. f o r  whom a desirable rent range would be $20-$3f> a month. account for about 12 per cent of a l l f a m i l i e s .  These f a m i l i e s  The remaining f a m i l i e s  are able to pay a proportionate shelter rent ranging from $35 to $55, within t h i s range an a r b i t r a r y d i v i s i o n may  be set at $U5.  Most of  and. the  large f a m i l i e s , and those broken f a m i l i e s above the marginal l i n e , should not be asked to pay rents of more than $U5 a month; the majority of families which have one  or two  the  children can a f f o r d rents of $U5-$55 and  certain portion of them are able to pay as much as $6o-$65.  a  CHAPTER IV COMPARISONS AND IMPLICATIONS There i s general agreement at the present time that the need f o r 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 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n 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 f a m i l i e s i n the order of income received, and then d i v i d i n g them into three numerically equal sections, the upper-, middle-, and lower-income groups.  By t h i s 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 a i d i n building at a l l . there are the "middle" groups who,  Secondly,  i f tenants are normally able to pay an  economic rent, or, i f prospective owners, may need varying types of a s s i s t ance i n 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  l e s s are not able to a f f o r d rents of higher l e v e l s 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 s u b s t a n t i a l b u i l d i n g programme provided better housing f o r the bulk of wage earner groups, the 'submerged tenth' (or what1) 2) 3;  Housing, Report by the Special Parliamentary Committee on Housing. Ottawa, 1935, p.375j c f . post.p.^s. .. "*» Report IV, Housing and Community Planning.of the Advisory Committee on Reconstruction, Ottawa, 19144. The National Housing Act (195W defines a family of low income as "A family that receives a t o t a l family income that, i n the opinion of the Corporation, i s i n s u f f i c i e n t to p e r m i t i t to rent housing accommodation adequate f o r i t s needs at the current r e n t a l market i n the area i n which the family l i v e s . "  - 80 ever the proportion actually i s ) 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 i s obvious that these figures demand revision i n 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 i s 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 i s the current cost of housing, whether for rent or purchase. While i t i s true that wage rates have risen steadily i n 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 commercial proposition for landlords and builders. When these conditions apply, i t may be necessary for the purposes of defining low-rental housing to extend the upper income boundary of the lower-income group so as to include a portion of the "middle" groups. It i s important to evaluate the significance of these income groups in the context of the income structure and housing need of families represented 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 l e s s than $100.00 a month; the second group, a l l with incomes between $100.00 and $220.00, and the t h i r d group those with incomes of more than $220.  These income boundaries have s i g n i -  ficance i n terms both of rent capacity and of the numerical d i s t r i b u t i o n of f a m i l i e s . Approximately 10 per cent o f the f a m i l i e s have incomes o f l e s s than $100.00.  Among t h i s group are pensioners, f a m i l i e s dependent on s o c i a l  assistance or unemployment insurance, some broken f a m i l i e s , and others i n which the father i s incapacitated by i l l - h e a l t h .  With the exception o f the  handicapped families i n which the mother i s tine p r i n c i p a l bread-winner, i  there are s i g n i f i c a n t l y few normal wage-earning  families among t h i s group.  The low incomes of these f a m i l i e s are c h i e f l y a matter of impaired or r e duced earning capacity, and of dependence on f i x e d pension or assistance rates.  In most cases the income i s s u f f i c i e n t only f o r 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 s p e c i a l cond i t i o n s o f t h i s 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 f o r these f a m i l i e s would amount  to approximately $2O-$20, with $30 as the very outside l i m i t . I t should not be necessary to argue that $100 a month represents a minimum l e v e l a t which family income becomes c r i t i c a l and that account also has to be taken of family s i z e .  For example, the Toronto Welfare Council  - 82 standard budget of income required f o r maintaining minimum health and decency, c a l l e d f o r about $159.00, excluding rent, f o r a representative family of two adults and two children a t 1952  l i v i n g costs.  The addition  of another c h i l d to the family has the e f f e c t of r a i s i n g t h i s figure to approximately $180.00 a month.  "When s i z e of family i s taken i n t o 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 f o r periods when t h i s i s the only source of income — the percentage j u s t mentioned i s closer to 18 per cent. The second group of families whose incomes are between $150 $225 account f o r approximately 35 per cent of the f a m i l i e s sampled.  and Although  able to afford a proportionate rent, these f a m i l i e s cannot pay the f u l l economic rent required f o r adequate housing without jeopardizing other essenti a l items i n t h e i r l i v i n g budget.  The margin over and above the minimum  required f o r h e a l t h f u l l i v i n g i s not very great formany of these f a m i l i e s , and approximately 20 per cent of the large f a m i l i e s with three or more children are not able to pay a proportionate rent and also maintain a d e s i r able standard of l i v i n g . i n t h i s low-income group.  The greater portion of 'broken' f a m i l i e s are found Of the f a m i l i e s surveyed whose incomes place them  i n t h i s low-income group ($l50-$225) the majority could a f f o r d rents of l e v e l s between $30 and $U5 a month. The moderate-income group with incomes over $225 comprise more than h a l f the t o t a l number of f a m i l i e s , the greater proportion of the group (approximately 60 per cent) being made up of f a m i l i e s with incomes between $225 and $275.  Normal f a m i l i e s with one or two children predominate among  applicants f o r L i t t l e Mountain project, and the majority of these f a m i l i e s are found i n t h i s income bracket.  Normally these families could a f f o r d to  pay economic rents of $U5-$55 a month and, allowing f o r differences i n rent capacity caused by family s i z e , approximately one-third of t h i s moderate-income group could a f f o r d 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 prev a i l i n g prices of the accommodation occupied by these f a m i l i e s and the amounts which on the 20 per cent basis they might reasonably be expected The l a t t e r average i n terms of t o t a l family income i s $U5.80j the  to pay.  average of a l l the rents a c t u a l l y paid i s $1*5.  This average however con-  ceals a wide range of v a r i a t i o n between d i f f e r e n t income classes.  For  example, approximately kh per cent of f a m i l i e s with incomes between $175  and  $200 pay a disproportionate rent, but the percentage i s only about 3U per cent f o r f a m i l i e s with incomes of $250-$275.  About h3 per cent of a l l  f a m i l i e s pay more than o n e - f i f t h of t h e i r income f o r rent, and there i s f a i r l y clear evidence that approximately one-fifth of the f a m i l i e s are overstraining t h e i r budgets by spending an excessive proportion f o r t h e i r housing needs. The f a c t that more than one-third of the f a m i l i e s with supplementary earnings pay a disproportionate rent i s a salutary reminder that the average amount added by extra wage-earners may be e a s i l y over-rated.  When  rent capacity i s r e l a t e d merely to the income of the chief earner, the seriousness of the s i t u a t i o n f o r the very low- and low-income f a m i l i e s i s apparent.  The proportions f o r the two giroups of those spending more than  o n e - f i f t h of income f o r rent are respectively about 80 per cent and 60 per cent.  For some of these f a m i l i e s 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 r e l a t i v e l y better p o s i t i o n i n regard to f i n d i n g accommodation that i s within t h e i r means; only 35 per cent of families i n this moderate-income group pay a disproportionate rent. One  of the f a c t s to be noted about t h i s group of f a m i l i e s i s t h e i r d i s -  p e r s a l over a wide range of r e n t a l l e v e l s , with some of the higher income families occupying p a r t i c u l a r l y low-rent dwellings.  The shortage of s u i t -  able accommodation at moderate rents no doubt accounts f o r part of t h i s . On the other hand some f a m i l i e s may  accept i n f e r i o r accommodation f o r the  sake of nearness to place of work and s i m i l a r considerations, when better housing might r e a l l y 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. which may  There i s some reason f o r t h i s  coincidence  also be observed i n the o v e r a l l median rent paid by f a m i l i e s 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 t h i s l e v e l may make a reasonable return to the owner of a converted suite i n the suburbs, they are about the economic or commercial minimum f o r accommodation rented to f a m i l i e s i n the c i t y .  Even so, the kind of housing  available at these rents quite t y p i c a l l y provides only a minimum of f a c i l i t i e s , or may be converted or even deteriorated property.  Below t h i s l e v e l  there i s no r e a l catering f o r f a m i l i e s i n terms of adequate housing. i t , there i s l i t t l e new  Above  r e n t a l housing u n t i l one enters the range of sup-  e r i o r apartment suites which are high rent and usually not designed f o r families with children. Judging from the present sample, rents bear no s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n  - 85 to the adequacy of housing.  Although the q u a l i t y of the accommodation  which rents f o r l e s s than $U5 i s noticeably i n f e r i o r , the payment of a higher rent does not necessarily ensure adequate housing f o r f a m i l i e s . The composite households are paying on an average a rent of $50 per month compared with $37 f o r the group of large f a m i l i e s , but the incidence of structural inadequacies i n t h e i r housing i s almost double that f o r the lower-rental accommodation. The acute housing shortage i s attested by the number of f a m i l i e s occupying converted dwellings. Nearly one-half l i v e i n suites - a portmanteau term covering a wide v a r i e t y 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 i n v a r i a b l y damp and unhealthy. Seventeen per cent of f a m i l i e s 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 f o r the purpose. the f a m i l i e s .  Single houses are occupied by o n e - f i f t h o f  These houses usually have no more than three rooms besides  the kitchen, and more than one-quarter of them have important s t r u c t u r a l defects; some have been condemned and are scheduled f o r demolition.  Twelve  per cent of the f a m i l i e s have had recourse to "doubling-up" with r e l a t i v e s i n single-family homes. The housing occupied by the f a m i l i e s surveyed i s characterized by i t s inadequacy and i t s inappropriateness f o r family tenancy.  The s i t u a t i o n  i s that one out o f 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 w e l l as serious s t r u c t u r a l inadequacies. Almost one-half of the f a m i l i e s 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 l i v i n g room as kitchen, or share a kitchen with another family.  Even i f a family i s fortunate  v  enough to occupy accommodation which i s adequate i n a l l physical respects, the chances that i t w i l l have sufficient sleeping accommodation are less than one i n two.  Taking one room per person as a standard, 80 per cent  of families have overcrowded living conditions.  I t i s important to em-  phasize that overcrowding i s not confined to any one income group, nor i s i t especially characteristic of accommodation at a particular rent level. It i s 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 i s important to keep i n 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 i n many people's thinking, i s that families live i n slum conditions because they like i t .  There are very r e a l i s t i c 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, i s 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 L i t t l e Mountain i s clear evidence that many do wish to move.  - 87A s i g n i f i c a n t proportion o f the f a m i l i e s surveyed are handicapped i n one way or another.  Some f a m i l i e s 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 r e s t r i c t e d or non-existent because of i l l - h e a l t h . l i m i t e d incomes.  There are, i n addition, pensioners and e l d e r l y couples with A l l of these f a m i l i e s have low incomes which do not permit  a rent of more than $30 a month, or $35 at the very most.  I f they have to  pay more, other e s s e n t i a l items i n the l i v i n g budget must be s a c r i f i c e d .  How  many of these f a m i l i e s can get (or have managed to get i n the l a s t ten years of shortage) adequate housing f o r t h i s kind of rent?  The present study con-  firms that rents of an amount higher than t h i s do not necessarily ensure adequate l i v i n g quarters.  These f a m i l i e s tend to occupy the more d e t e r i o r -  ated properties simply because t h i s i s the only kind available at rents anywhere near t h e i r means; a l t e r n a t i v e l y they are forced to resort to such expedients as doubling-up.  In the l i g h t of current r e n t a l l e v e l s f o r suitable  accommodation and the l i m i t e d incomes of these f a m i l i e s , i t i s not reasonable to expect that they could improve t h e i r housing conditions by moving. all-important question i s - "where to?"  The  Another important point i s that the  handicapped family frequently does not have the opportunity to 'shop around' and get the most f o r 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 l i m i t them i n t h e i r choice of accommodation (e.g. c e r t a i n conditions of rheumatic and heart disease may necessitate accommodation a t ground l e v e l ) . The dearth of suitable alternatives i s not e n t i r e l y a matter of marginal incomes and slum housing.  The amount of s a t i s f a c t o r y housing a t  moderate rents of between $u0 and $60 i s l i m i t e d , and much of i t i s not  - 88 available to families with children.  The accommodation which i s available  at these rent l e v e l s has usually been converted and i s both inadequate and i n e f f i c i e n t f o r family needs.  Accordingly, although a number of the f a m i l i e s  surveyed could afford to spend more f o r rent than they are a c t u a l l y paying, the extra amount would not be s u f f i c i e n t to assure them of adequate housing. There are other families who than  $k5>  cannot a f f o r d , i n any case, a rent of much more  and a recurring complaint among such f a m i l i e s sampled i s t h e i r  i n a b i l i t y to f i n d suitable accommodation at a rent they can a f f o r d where children are accepted. Apart altogether from such questions as q u a l i t y and e f f i c i e n c y , the high rate of overcrowding among applicant f a m i l i e s i s convincing evidence of the quantitative need f o r r e n t a l housing.  The overcrowded families thus  brought to l i g h t are of course only a s p e c i a l sample of the t o t a l who l i v i n g i n cramped quarters throughout Vancouver.  are  Any plan to a l l e v i a t e t h i s  s i t u a t i o n must take into account the need not only f o r providing a separate dwelling f o r the numerous f a m i l i e s who  share a common household., but also  f o r providing a d d i t i o n a l accommodation f o r those whose present quarters are too small f o r the size of t h e i r family.  The p l i g h t of large families with  three or more children demands p a r t i c u l a r consideration i n terms both of t h e i r need f o r more housing accommodation and of t h e i r capacity to pay f o r i t . The t r a d i t i o n a l reliance upon conversions and "filtering-down" to meet the demand f o r r e n t a l housing i s c l e a r l y not enough; not only does i t f a i l to provide the necessary units f o r an expanding population, but i t also f a i l s to provide the r i g h t kind of accommodation adapted to the d i f f e r i n g needs of d i f f e r e n t sized f a m i l i e s .  - 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 o f s t 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 t o eradicate.""^ Quite apart from the question whether home ownership i s necessarily a desirable objective f o r everyone, i s 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) i n terms of what people's choice would be i f an adequate supply of good r e n t a l accommodation were available?  The income structure of f a m i l i e s  applying f o r L i t t l e Mountain furnishes a u s e f u l base f o r examining the appropriateness  of house-purchase as a solution to the housing needs o f one  important sector i n the population. The period since the end o f the war has been marked by a steady i n crease i n the costs of r e s i d e n t i a l construction which, together with higher i n t e r e s t rates, has caused home ownership costs to climb at a f a s t e r rate than wages o r any of the goods and services included i n the Consumer Price  2) Index.  This r i s e i n construction costs has been r e f l e c t e d i n the average  size o f loan approved under the terms of the National Housing Act (Table 2 2 ) . 1) From an address given by Catherine Bauer on 'Public Housing before the annual dinner of the Ontario Association of A r c h i t e c t s , February 1  27th, 191*3.  2) 191+9 (100) i s selected as the base period i n c a l c u l a t i n g p r i c e movements i n the Consumer Price Index. Over the U year period Jan. 19l*9-Dec.l952 the costs o f shelter showed the most s i g n i f i c a n t r i s e of 23.0 points. This increase accounted f o r 21$ o f the r i s e 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 a t 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)  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  $5,000 and over  4,117  6,023  9,916  5,705  5,374 '  TOTAL  17,926  19,256  26,275  11,994  Average Income ($)  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)  10,948  11,351  11,738  12,474  Under $2,099  Average Cost of Dwelling ($)  10,210  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 $12,1+71+, and  one-storey dwelling ( i n c l u d i n g land) b u i l t under N.H.A. was  the average loan f o r t h i s kind of dwelling $9,05° - an increase of 12% over the costs f o r 1901.  These figures r e l a t e to the whole of Canada but the  s t a t i s t i c s f o r Vancouver show substantial correspondence.  The average  estimated cost of the s i n g l e - f a m i l y dwelling b u i l t i n Vancouver i n J u l y 1951+  under NHA was  $11,877, and the average loan amounted to $9,1+76.  cost of building i n North Vancouver was  The  considerably higher ($13,996).^  In order to q u a l i f y f o r a N.H.A. home-ownership loan the purchaser's must be s u f f i c i e n t to support debt service charges i n a r a t i o not  income  exceeding  23 per cent of the annual income, and i n computing t h i s income up to 25 per cent of the wife's gross earnings may be taken into account.  Application  of t h i s formula to the s i z e of loan quoted above shows that an income of at l e a s t $315  a month would be required before a family could consider home-  purchase.  This f i g u r e has considerable s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r f a m i l i e s with i n -  comes of the kind represented i n the present sample.  Of the f a m i l i e s sampled  whose incomes q u a l i f i e d them f o r 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  t h i s percentage, however, are a number of composite households whose t o t a l incomes are derived from other members of the family besides the wife. over, i n c a l c u l a t i n g the t o t a l f a m i l y income f o r the purposes of t h i s  Morestudy,  a l l the earnings of the wife, and not merely a percentage, were taken into account as w e l l as the earnings of children.  In assessing the capacity of  families to assume a long-term undertaking l i k e buying a home i t i s more  Figures supplied by Regional (B.C.) s t a t i s t i c s d i v i s i o n 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 t h i s  i s 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 q u a l i f i c a t i o n s 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.  I t i s true that f a m i l i e s applying f o r housing i n the L i t t l e Mountain project have s p e c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s with regard to income, and they cannot f a i r l y be taken as a measure of the p o t e n t i a l number whose housing needs might be met through assisted home-purchase.  I t i s therefore important to  examine the income d i s t r i b u t i o n f o r a l l wage-earner f a m i l i e s .  Census figures  for metropolitan Vancouver show that i n 1951 more than o n e - f i f t h of wageearner family heads had incomes o f l e s s than $2,000 a year, and that, a l t o gether, 68 per cent of wage-earners had l e s s 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 1 9 5 l , but not so much, nor so u n i v e r s a l l y , as to e f f e c t a substantial increase i n the proportion of the population able to take advantage of N.H.A. home financing.  For housing purposes i t i s s t i l l the  pattern o f income d i s t r i b u t i o n that i s important.  The preponderance o f loan  applicants among families whose incomes exceed $3,600 (see Table 22) points up the f a c t that assisted home ownership has not even begun to touch the housing needs o f lower-income f a m i l i e s .  Furthermore, the actual number o f  moderate-income f a m i l i e s who can benefit from i t i s probably quite l i m i t e d . A d i s t i n c t i v e feature of Government home financing p o l i c y 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  the necessary down payment.  lack s u f f i c i e n t c a p i t a l to make  Quite apart from the question whether there i s  such a thing as an assured steady income that can be counted on f o r twenty to t h i r t y years, i t i s inadvisable to encourage into house purchase f a m i l i e s whose incomes do not provide a c e r t a i n safety margin.  There i s always the  p o s s i b i l i t y of a reduction i n the purchaser's earning power e i t h e r because of short time l a y - o f f s or sickness.  There are bound to be many people  among those taking advantage of these extended c r e d i t terms who  are i n no  p o s i t i o n to assume heavy long term l i a b i l i t i e s or to t i e up t h e i r l i m i t e d savings i n an i l l i q u i d asset, but who suitable r e n t a l accommodation.  are forced to buy a house f o r lack of  So long as the l e v e l of r e a l wages continues  to r i s e within a buoyant national economy, the maintenance of regular payments may  present no p a r t i c u l a r problem to these f a m i l i e s , but i n the event  of a recession they constitute a weak element i n the housing market. large spate of repossessions  A  and foreclosures tends to depress real-estate  values and to discourage future b u i l d i n g .  The argument i s frequently heard  among prospective home owners that rather than pay rent to a landlord one would be better o f f to make payments on a mortgage and i n the end "have something saved up". f a l l a c i o u s reasoning.  This, however, can often prove to be specious  In the purchase of a family home the hidden costs of  assessments, taxation, and maintenance are e a s i l y ignored. i s a wasting asset — for.  and  Moreover, housing  "Our homes are being used up while they are being paid  They deteriorate p h y s i c a l l y and they become obsolescent f u n c t i o n a l l y  due to new inventions, new  fads and fashions as w e l l as to undesirable  changes i n the neighbourhood.  At resale there may  be nothing l e f t over.""^  Svend Riemer, The Modern C i t y ; an introduction to urban sociology, Prentice-Hall, New York, 1902.  -9hA further important factor that the home-ownership i d e a l ignores i s the v a s t l y increased labour m o b i l i t y o f 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 r e a l benefits both f o r the i n d i v i d u a l and f o r the community, but i t i s questionable how f a r t h i s i d e a l can be pursued i n the face o f r e a l i s t i c demands made by the employment market and o f the i n c l i n a t i o n s 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 o f agreement i s l i k e l y to be found.  !!Housing"  i s a word with the capacity f o r arousing strong f e e l i n g s , and these feelings i n v a r i a b l y influence each person's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the f a c t s .  Moreover,  the f a c t s themselves are neither as complete nor as d e f i n i t e as one would wish them to be.  The p r i n c i p l e that gives everyone the r i g h t to some form  of shelter i s not disputed; but to extend t h i s claim so as to include housing of a standard adequate f o r the health and well-being o f each person and his family i s s t i l l apt to i n v i t e controversy, despite the adoption of t h i s standard as a basic human r i g h t by the General Assembly o f the United Nations.  The controversy stems i n the main from lack o f 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 t r a d i t i o n has been  that the consumer decides f o r himself how and where he w i l l l i v e , but t h i s concept of the consumer's dominant r o l e i n the housing process has always been l a r g e l y mythical, except f o r the fortunate few. Tilhile t h i s concept has continued to receive a great deal o f l i p service there has been a growing awareness o f the i n a b i l i t y of the p r i v a t e market to b u i l d houses within the means o f a l l families —  a f a c t which i s e x p l i c i t l y recognized i n the U.S.  - 90 Housing Act of 1937 f a m i l i e s "who  -  which states that public housing i s f o r low-income  cannot afford to pay enough to cause private enterprise  i n t h e i r l o c a l i t y or metropolitan area to b u i l d an adequate supply of decent, safe and sanitary dwellings f o r t h e i r use." A strong t r a d i t i o n has persisted i n Canada that the provision of housing accommodation should be e x c l u s i v e l y a private matter, with the r e s u l t that Canada's experience i n the operation of p u b l i c housing has been n e g l i g i b l e i n comparison with that of the United States and European countries.  During the depression years of the ' t h i r t i e s ' housing became  a matter of public i n t e r e s t , and numerous surveys and reports on l o c a l conditions attested to the f a c t 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 b u i l t by the speculative b u i l d e r .  In 1930  a Housing Committee of  the House of Commons reported, among others, the following as i t s conclusions: (1)  The formation, i n s t i t u t i o n and pursuit of a p o l i c y of adequate housing should be accepted as a s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  ,  (2) There i s no apparent prospect of the low-rental housing need being met through unaided private enterprise b u i l d i n g f o r profxt. Despite the passage of certain l e g i s l a t i o n (The Dominion Housing Act of 1930  and the National Housing Act of 1938)  there had been no change i n the  housing s i t u a t i o n 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 v a l i d f o r r e n t a l housing i n 191+3  F i n a l Report of the Special Committee on Housing, Ottawa  as they  1930,  -  were i n 1935,  -  the s i t u a t i o n having become a c t u a l l y worse i n most c i t i e s  than i t was ten years ago".^ on t h i s point.  96  I t s own findings provided added evidence  "But that a very large and long range programme of low-  r e n t a l housing must be contemplated, i s an inescapable conclusion from the  2) facts". For various reasons Government p o l i c y has been to place chief reliance on f e d e r a l c r e d i t and guarantees, on the assumption that with t h i s degree of assistance private enterprise might be i n c i t e d to do the whole job.  In providing f o r i n d i r e c t assistance the p r i n c i p a l object has been  to encourage, through l e g i s l a t i v e devices, more and more a c t i v i t y 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 e f f e c t 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 i n 1935. has been e s s e n t i a l l y a middle-income measure.  But i t  When the achievement i s set  against the figure of 500,000 dwellings f o r a l l Canadian urban centres which was  estimated to be the t o t a l accumulated b u i l d i n g need f o r the base year  3) 19U6,  i t i s obvious that i n d i r e c t assistance has not provided the whole  answer to Canada's housing problem. The need f o r d i r e c t Government p a r t i c i p a t i o n to meet the needs of low-income f a m i l i e s was  expressly acknowledged by the Federal Government i n >  i t s l e g i s l a t i o n of 1949.  In that year the National Housing Act was amended  to permit the Federal Government i n partnership with P r o v i n c i a l Governments ^ 2  Report 17, Housing and Community Planning, of the Advisory Committee on Reconstruction, Ottawa 1944, p.35.  ) I b i d . , 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 f o r sale or rent at economic rates and to embark on subsidized projects at rates scaled to the means of low-income f a m i l i e s .  Inany/of these undertakings the c a p i t a l cost and the  p r o f i t s or losses accruing were to be shared by the Federal and P r o v i n c i a l Government on a 75:25 basis, and the P r o v i n c i a l Government was permitted share i t s portion with the municipality.  to  Before t h i s section of the Act  could operate, enabling p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n was  required, and the Federal  Government made i t quite clear that the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r i n i t i a t i n g  and  administering p u b l i c housing projects rested with the Provinces and municipalities.  Local Housing Authorities were envisaged f o r the management of  such projects and the P r o v i n c i a l Governments were made responsible f o r the appointment of the members of the Authorities, acting i n consultation with the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s concerned and subject to the approval of the Central Mortgage and' Housing Corporation. of co-operative  Although i t might appear from the type  arrangement prescribed between the three l e v e l s of Govern-  ment that the municipal authority occupies a d i s t i n c t l y j u n i o r p o s i t i o n , 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 a v a i l i t s e l f of the senior Governments' a i d i t must be able to show that there i s r e a l demand and a r e a l need f o r the public housing and community development which i t i s planned to promote, and a necessary part of t h i s demonstration i s the f a c t u a l analysis of the l o c a l housing s i t u a t i o n with s p e c i f i c proposals f o r remedying i t s d e f i c i e n c i e s . In e f f e c t , the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s are given the  opportunity,  i f they so wish, of inaugurating a comprehensive housing programme with a  - 98 d e f i n i t e s o c i a l purpose; that i s , the provision of housing according need rather than the a b i l i t y to pay the market p r i c e . l e v e l , although there was  At the n a t i o n a l  no declaration of public p o l i c y i n the  Housing Act such as i s found i n the U.S.  to  Housing Act of 1937,  19U9  the Act d i d  embody t a c i t acceptance of the p r i n c i p l e that Government has a responsibil i t y f o r assuring a reasonable minimum standard of housing f o r a l l i t s citizens. The L i t t l e Mountain housing project represents,  as f a r as Vancouver  i s concerned, the f i r s t p r a c t i c a l r e a l i s a t i o n of t h i s p r i n c i p l e , and the a d d i t i o n a l dwellings  thus made available have a s i g n i f i c a n c e larger  therefore than t h e i r actual numbers.  Nevertheless, the number of un-  successful applicants i s clear evidence that the project has met one part of the need f o r low-rent housing. the Vancouver Housing Authorityreported  only  In i t s f i r s t annual report  that f i v e hundred and eleven  e l i g i b l e f a m i l i e s were waiting f o r 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 l a s t of them.  Theses figures give only one dimension  of the problem and take no account of the f a m i l i e s a c t u a l l y i n need of decent low-rent housing, but who, e l i g i b l e f o r the project.  f o r one reason or another, are not  An estimate of a c t u a l numbers i s not f e a s i b l e ,  but on the basis of the present sample,:!.which includes i n e l i g i b l e 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 r e c e i p t of s o c i a l 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 t h e i r allowance on rent i n order to get any accommodation at a l l .  I f the need f o r sub-  - 99 sidized housing i s conceded for other groups i n the population there seems l i t t l e l o g i c or humanity i n a p o l i c y which denies the benefits of public housing to the f a m i l i e s l e a s t capable of fending f o r themselves.  Such a  p o l i c y i s apt to be defended on the grounds that subsidized housing for s o c i a l assistance families involves, i n a c t u a l i t y , the granting of a double subsidy; there would be some j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h i s stand i f i t could be shown that the r e n t a l allowance paid these f a m i l i e s was  s u f f i c i e n t to en-  able them to f i n d adequate accommodation i n the open market, but the evidence I. of a p a r a l l e l study to the present one,  and a l l the reports of the C i t y  S o c i a l Service Department indicate that t h i s 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 r e s t ent i r e l y on such objective c r i t e r i a as income l e v e l s , family composition  and  residence q u a l i f i c a t i o n , but involves also an assessment of the applicant's s u i t a b i l i t y as a tenant.  A s i g n i f i c a n t number (Ih  per cent) of applicant  families were considered unsuitable, and therefore i n e l i g i b l e f o r the project, either because of f i n a n c i a l i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y r e f l e c t e d i n a low c r e d i t r a t i n g or because of unsatisfactory housekeeping habits.  These and s i m i l a r c r i t e r i a  of s o c i a l 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 s k i l l e d i n v e s t i g a t i o n for t h e i r equitable a p p l i c a t i o n i n each p a r t i c u l a r casej moreover, they r a i s e the whole question of the objectives of tenant s e l e c t i o n practice.  Most low-income families are no more'problems' than are those of  higher income, and others constitute problems through no f a u l t of t h e i r but by reason of accident, i l l n e s s , age, and other misfortunes.  own,  I t can be  expected, however, that a group of persons i n sub-standard slum-area accommodations, with l i m i t e d incomes, w i l l include a r e l a t i v e l y high proportion of families with unwanted s o c i a l habits and health problems, both mental and physical.  Such f a m i l i e s , 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 t h e i r l i m i t e d incomes, but they also require the I)¥ilson, op. c i t . , pp. 73-75*  - 100 services of suitably trained personnel i n 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. work are much greater when  The opportunities, however, for remedial  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 w i l l depend to a large extent on the services available to them i n fehe project.  The particular needs of such families exemplify  the truth of the statement that "housing i s human relations as well as clean paint and good ventilation; management squally i s human relations as well as supervision, maintenance, and bookkeeping." * 1  For the most part, i t i s evident that the Vancouver Housing Authority has understandably tried to obviate these d i f f i c u l t i e s 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 i n L i t t l e Mountain show a higher average wage level than the prevailing level for the sample of unsuccessful applicants; typically $2ljO a month i n 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 i n 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 i s a good deal higher than the prevailing level for the two samples of unsuccessful applicants (typically $ii5 a month i n each case). The fact that fifty-nine eligible families withdrew their applications because they considered the proposed rent for accommodation i n the project 1. L.C.Marsh, Rebuilding a Neighbourhood, p.55* 2. Report of the Vancouver Housing Authority for the year ending December 31st. I9$h.  - 101 too high offers a s i g n i f i c a n t commentary on this difference between the two rent l e v e l s .  Rents i n the project f a l l within a range of be-  tween 20 and 23 per cent (before service charges) o f the tenant family's income, and although rents may be low i n comparison with the q u a l i t y o f accommodation, i t must be remebered that a number o f applicant families are paying l e s s than t h i s f o r t h e i r 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 f o r 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 f o r the very low-income f a m i l i e s . An equally important consideration a r i s i n g out o f the generally higher earnings and rent l e v e l s o f tenants of L i t t l e Mountain i s whether the range of rents i n operation i n the project make s u f f i c i e n t provision f o r families who cannot a f f o r d an i n c l u s i v e rent of more than $30 a month. Administration p o l i c y requires that the average rent per u n i t should  not  f a l l below $1*5, and i n order to maintain this average i t i s necessary t o include f a m i l i e s who are able to pay the 'economic  1  rent for the project.  There are good s o c i a l reasons as well as economic ones f o r not r e s t r i c t i n g the tenants o f a public housing project to one income group, but i t would be unfortunate i f the need to l i m i t the number and amount of rent subs i d i e s resulted i n the neglect o f the housing claims of low-income f a m i l i e s . The f a c t that some tenants of L i t t l e Mountain are paying a t o t a l rent o f as much as $90 a month underlines the present need for d e f i n i t i o n 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 t o t a l family income l e s s than f i v e times the economic r e n t a l o f a family housing u n i t required to provide s u f f i c i e n t accommodation f o r the said family."  For the purposes o f the Act low-rental housing project means a  "housing project undertaken to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing accommodation .... to be leased to f a m i l i e s o f low income a t the economic  -  1 0 2  -  r e n t a l therefor or at a lower r e n t a l ..• having regard to the  existence  of a condition of shortage, overcrowding or congestion of housing." A s i g n i f i c a n t change i n the d e f i n i t i o n of a family of low-income occurs i n the National Housing A c t ( I 9 5 U ) where i t i s described as one "that r e ceives a t o t a l family income that, i n the opinion of the Corporation,|cientral Mortgage and Housing Corporation]is i n s u f f i c i e n t to permit i t to rent housing accommodation adequate for i t s needs at the current r e n t a l market i n the area i n which the family l i v e s . "  A l l these d e f i n i t i o n s involve  reference to the condition of housing supply and to the 'going' rents f o r adequate family housing, and d e l i b e r a t e l y r e f r a i n from s p e c i f y i n g p a r t i c u l a r income l i m i t s .  When considered i n t h i s context the findings of the  present study indicate that the income l i 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 f a m i l i e s who might not otherwise be considered as of low-income« The large proportion of applicants with incomes over $22$ who,  nevertheless,  were unable to f i n d adequate housing has alEeady been commented on. Separate examination of the forms of successful applicants shows that t h e i r housing conditions were equally u n s a t i s f a c t o r y i n s p i t e of higher average earning l e v e l s .  Perhaps one of the most important points which emerges  from the study i s that the need f o r 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 f a m i l i e s with moderate incomes who quire r e n t a l housing of an adequate standard  re-  at a p r i c e within t h e i r means,  and so f a r these requirements have been only i n d i f f e r e n t l y  met.  Obviously any public housing programme worthy of the name must provide f o r several d i f f e r e n t kinds of need, and f o r a more f l e x i b l e d i s t r i b u t i o n i n some instances of the f a m i l i e s at present inadequately housed.  The  kind  of p o l i c y d i f f e r e n t i a l s involved i n such a programme have been described l a r g e l y i n economic terms, but i t important to emphasise that behind them  -  1 0 3  -  l i e q u a l i t a t i v e 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 a s c e r t a i n and to plan f o r .  The nature of the problem has been a p t l y described by  Catherine Bauer. The b i g d i f f i c u l t y l i e s i n the f a c t that every aspect of housing and c i t y planning comes down, sooner or l a t e r , to q u a l i t a t i v e s o c i a l decisions, 'value judgments' about i n d i v i d u a l needs and preferences, family and community functions, group r e l a t i o n s and the whole pattern of c i v i c l i f e . C l e a r l y , there are no f i n a l answers i n the matter of housing much that s t i l l remains to be known.  and  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 f o r every adult and every c h i l d .  Enough i s known to make t h i s  objective possible, and the l e g i s l a t i o n exists to give e f f e c t to t h i s knowledge.  In i t s provisions f o r assisted home-ownership and f o r p u b l i c l y  assisted r e n t a l 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 p r i c e .  Between the acknowledgment of a p r i n c i p l e i n l e g i s -  l a t i o n and i t s p r a c t i c a l r e a l i s a t i o n there i s , however, a vast area of i n a c t i o n , and no departure from t r a d i t i o n a l p o l i c y a v a i l s anything i f i t i s not accompanied by a change of thinking among those people on whom the c h i e f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y r e s t s for applying the new p o l i c y .  Since the propo-  sals f o r low-rental housing projects must come from the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s , and since the onus i s on them f o r proving a r e a l demand and a r e a l need, i t follows that any action taken i n t h i s matter w i l l be d i r e c t l y dependent upon the kind of human and s o c i a l values considered important by the people themselves.  I. Catherine Bauer, "Social Questions i n Housing and Community Planning", The Journal of S o c i a l Issues,Vol.VII, Nos.Iand2,I95I.  APPENDIX A DESCRIPTIVE INFORMATION ON LITTLE MOUNTAIN HOUSING PROJECT The L i t t l e 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 i n the proportion 75*25 respectively.  The contribution of the City of Vancouver to the financing  of the project i s 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 l a i d lit 1950 before actual construction of the project was started in the summer of 1953. April 1 s t ,  The f i r s t unit became available f o r occupation  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 i n 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 i s 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 i n the project are adjusted to income and  number of persons i n 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 i n the project i s not allowed to f a l l below $U5 a month. Provision exists for adjusting, rent to meet'changes i n familyincome after entry into the project. The project i s administered by the Vancouver Housing 'Authority, a five-person board whose members are appointed by the Provincial Government i n 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 i s 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 f o r L i t t l e Mountain According to Original Filing System  Total 1.  2. 3.  p p l i c a n t s Number Sampled  Applications rejected by Vancouver * Housing Authority (over or under income limits, lack of residence qualifications, etc.)  952  k99  Applications which are apparently eligible for consideration.  331  166  89  89  Applications which are apparently eligible but which have not been followed up by applicants.  U. Pensionable Couples waiting l i s t . 5. Miscellaneous Applications (applications approved by Vancouver Housing Authority, applicants whose housing i s to be inspected).  11  -  135  -  6.  22u  Tenants of L i t t l e Mountain TOTAL  750  J  B.  APPENDIX B - page 2  Vancouver Housing Authority Categories of Applicants for L i t t l e Mountain According to New Filing System A p p l i c a n t s Total 1.  2.  Not eligible on basis of application form a) Over income b) Under income c) Family size too large d) Single Persons e) Lack of residence  307 5 0 17 U2 1 5 3  Number Sampled  1 0 3 30  Not suitable following investigation a) Credit rating  2k  5  L*i5  2 9  a) Rent level unsatisfactory  59  1 2  b) Found other accommodation  72  lU  c) Changed mind since applying  68  13  U.  Apparently eligible for consideration  353  70  5.  Apparently eligible for consideration 90 7  18 1  131 224  35  17U2  2U0  b) Housekeeping 3.  Ifithdrawn by applicant  but waiting follow-up by applicant 6. Pensioned couples waiting l i s t 7. Miscellaneous (applications waiting to be inspected, applications approved by authority, applications waiting credit verification 8. Tenants of L i t t l e Mountain TOTAL  APPENDIX B - page 3 Applicants Classified According to Family Structure Sample A  No.  Total P.C.  Married Couples Old age pension couples  158 26  21.0 3*5  Both parents plus 1 2 3 k 5  220 158 57 25 10  29.3 21.0 7.6 3.3 1.3  2k  3.2  27 26 8 3 2  3.6 3.5 1.0 .k .3  6  .8  Type of Family  child children children children or more children  Composite households in which husband and wife are joint heads One parent plus  1 2 3 k 5  child children children children or more children  Composite households with only one parent as head TOTAL  750  100  APPENDIX B - page k  Sample B  Total  Type of Family  No.  Married couples Old age pension couples  22 8  9.1 3.3  Both parents plus 1 2 3 .... h 5  69 61 18 3  28.8  a  7.5 1.3 1.7  6  2.5  child children children children or more children  Composite households i n which husband and wife are joint heads Cue parent plus  1 2 3 li 5  child children children children or more children  19  P.C.  25.U  7.9  15 2 1 1  6.3 .8  Composite households wxth only one parent as head  11  li.6  TOTAL  2ii0  ..It  .h  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) b) Families  153981 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 i n 1951 for additional dwelling units:  A.  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 l i v e 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  This additional supply of housing would probably relieve existing overcrowding per room (about 10 per cent of households i n 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, v i z . 1U1939 plus 22619 - 16U558. When the latter figure i s subtracted from the number of occupied dwellings (153981) the result i s 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 Metropolitan Area). Consolidated figures:  C.  D.  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  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 a l l dwellings would seem a reasonable guess, i.e.  U500 (approx.)  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, approximately 2 per cent. Total dwellings in City of Vancouver Occupied dwellings Vacant dwellings  was 105167 101879 2221*  APPENDIX C - page 3  The figure of 2221*. i s probably misleading as i t would include houses completed but not sold, dwellings withdrawn from the market etc. An allowance of 1* per cent effective vacancies i s suggested as a desirable minimum to provide the necessary margin for coming and going and for reducing turnover f r i c t i o n . 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  530728 (Census  1951) 62226l )  195U  a  Net increase  f Estimated number of new households formed on average of 3.3 persons per household  T)  91533 27730 (approx.)  :  '  Figures relate to 1951 Census data a) This figure i s based on estimates supplied to Regional (B.C.) Statistics Division of the Central Mortgage and Housing,, Corporation by municipalities i n Metropolitan Vancouver.  APPENDIX C - page 1+  Housing completions f o r the Metropolitan Area o f Vancouver, mid 1951 - mid 1 9 5 U . b l 1951 1952 1953  2111+ 1+21+9  5913 2937  195U TOTAL  Amount by which number o f new dwellings completed f a l l s short o f estimated number o f new households formed i n the three year period mid 1 9 5 1 to mid 1951* Number o f dwellings required t o provide adequate housing f o r the population o f Metropolitan Vancouver i n 1 9 5 1 Estimate o f t o t a l housing need Vancouver, 1951+  15213  12517  201+00 32000 (approx.)  b~) This f i g u r e does not include new dwellings completed i n part o f Surrey, Eraser M i l l s , Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam. Beginning January, 1952, the boundaries o f the metropolitan area covered by C.M.H.C. survey o f new r e s i d e n t i a l construction were a l t e r e d to agree with 1 9 5 1 Census Metropolitan Areas. I t i s not l i k e l y that the number of completions i n the d i s t r i c t s excluded p r i o r t o January 1 9 5 2 would make any s i g n i f i c a n t difference t o the f i g u r e quoted above.  APPENDIX  D  ADDITIONAL STATISTICAL MATERIAL  Table 1  Income Levels of Chief Earner i n Relation to Total Family Incomej and Number of Families at Prescribed Income Levels i n -which Total Family Income i s greater than Income of Chief Earner (Sample LMA 'B»)  Chief Earner  Total Family Income  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  6  21  2.5  8.7  -  21*0  21*0  Income per . month  Over $300  r:  TOTAL  Table 2  Percentage Distribution Chief Earners Families  Incomes of Families:  100  100  No.of Families with Supplementary Earnings  56  Summary  (Sample LMA »B»)  Category Chief Wage Earners ( a l l families)  Median Income  Quartile Range  per month $ 220  per month  $ 155-255  Total Family Income ( a l l families)  $ 229  $ 180-261*  56 Families with Supplementary Earnings  $ 221*  $ 171-300  Incomes of Families compared with Type of Family  Table 3  (Sample LMA 'B»)  Type of Family  I. 'Normal with up 2 3 1  families to children or more children  Median Income Chief Wage Total FamEaraer i l y Income per month per month  Quartile Range Chief Wage Total FamEarner i l y Income per month per month  230  21*1  189-260  20l*-277  21*6  250  201-260  212-268  170  121-175  150-209  165  121-179  136-203  II. Total Broken Families 155 (a) Broken Families excluding composite broken households 157 III.Total Composite households 155 (a) Composite house. „ holds i n which husband & wife are joint heads 210  223  119-215  171-261*  282  107-21(9  238-376  (b) Composite house. . holds with only one parent as head l5l  173  116-161  153-222  $229  $155-255  $180-261*  A l l Families  $220  Table U  Total Family Income Compared with Composition of Family (Sample LMA 'B')  Married Couples Income no children Below $100  Old Composite Age •Normal' Fami- Broken FamiHouseholds Pension lies(children) lies(children) Broken •Normal' Couples 1 2 3 h 5* 1 2 3 h 5+ CompositeComposite 1  1 1  1  2 2  1  U  2  9 5 1  6  li 1  5  HOO-Utf  3  $150-199  7  11  $200-2l;9  9  25 21 5 3 1  $250-300  2  26 27 7  2  Over $300  1  6 8 2  1  TOTAL  22  7  8  h  69 61 18 3  4  k  7 1  1  18  3 1  19 15 2  Total  2  7U 1  1 1  li  U7  73  3  21  6  21*0  Table 5  Chief Earner Income Compared w i t h Type of Family (Sample LMA 'A')  Type o f Family  Median Income per month  $ 'Normal' Families with up to 2 children 3 children o r more Total Broken Families (a) broken f a m i l i e s excluding . . composite broken households T o t a l Composite Households (a) Composite households i n which husband & wife are j o i n t heads (b) Composite households with only one parent as head ALL FAMILIES  Quartile Range per month  $  21*0  202-280  271  228-302  Ui6  113-186  1U8  113-187  216  15U-267  233  165-272  133  108-175  $238  H87^273  Table 5-A  Chief Earner Income Compared with Composition o f Family (Sample LMA 'A')  Income  Married Couples no children  Old Age Pension Couples  'Normal' Fami- Broken Families(children) lies(children) 1 2 3 1* 5t 1 2 3 U 5 +  3  12  1* 3  $100-11*9  23  Hi  6  $150-199.  Below $100  3 U  1  26  25 10 2  1 1  $200-21*9  60  86 1*1* 15 5 3  $250-300  33  70 69 19 12  13  29 29 16 7  Over  $300  TOTAL  158  26  1  2  36  9 8 1* 2 1  3  1  79  1  5  92  6  229  9  211*  1  100  21*  750  5  10 7 2 1* 5  1 1  1 1  1 5  220158 57 25 10  Total  1  k  1  Composite Households Broken 'Normal' Composite Composite  27 26  8 3  2  6  Table 6  D i s t r i b u t i o n o f 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  31  13.0  $k0 - hh  28  11.7  - 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  71+  3  1.3  $75 - 79  8  3.3  11  U.6  $1.5  $70 -  r-  39  $80 o r more  TOTAL FAMILIES (a)  2U0  100  (a) Including 5 cases with rent not stated.  Median Rent A l l Families  $1*5  Quartile Range  $35-60  Table 7  Monthly Rent Compared with Type of Family (Sample LMA «B«)  Type of Family  'Normal' Families with up to 2 children 3 children or more Total Broken Families (a) broken families excluding composite broken households  Median Rent per month  Quartile Range per month  1)6  39-65  37  30-1+9  36  30-60  35  30-58  Total Composite Households (a) Composite households i n which, husband & wife are joint heads  50  30-61  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 o f Family (Sample LMA »A»)  Type o f Family  •Normal' Families with up t o 2 children 3 children o r more Total Broken Families (a) broken f a m i l i e s excluding . composite broken households Total Composite Households (a) Composite households i n which husband & wife are j o i n t heads (b) Composite households with , only one parent as head  ALL FAMILIES  Median Rent per month  Quartile Range per month  $  $  1*7  35-59  53  36-62  38  27-52  38  26-51  53  33-67  55  38-69  50  22-59  $1*5  $35-59  Table 9  Chief Earner Income Compared with Monthly Rent A l l Families (Sample LMA «B';  R  Income per month  e  n  t  P  e  m  r  0  n  t  h  $ Under 20 20-21+ 25-29 30-3U 35-39 Below $100  1  $100-124  1  3  $125-149  2  1  $150-174  1  $175-199  1  U  5  2  5  3  1 3  1  $20O-22U  :  1  3  $225-249 $250-274  2  $275-300  1  1  k  U  40-44 U5-U9 1 1 2  a  9  6  1°  Total  l  1  3  1 7  3  l  3  24  1  11  2  2  3  1  11  27  1  3  1  2  1  h  13  2  U  7  3  h  1  35  U  5  8  l  6  k  9  37  2  3  8  h  3  | 1  Hi  U3  2  2  6  5  if  27  1  TOTAL )  Over 60  3  1  Over $300  50-54 55-59  !  1 21  31  Five cases with rent not stated.  28  21  3 26  18  59  1  6  240  F i f t y - s i x " Families with Supplementary Earnings Total Family Income Compared with Monthly Rent  Table 10  (Sample LMA. 'B')  Income per month  R e n t  Under  20  20-21* 25-29  Below $100  $100-121*  2 ;  30-3U  p e r  35-39  m o n t h  1*0-1*1* kS-W 50-51* 55-59  Over  60  Total  I  2  i  1*  $125-11*9  1  1  $150-171*  I  1  1  7  $175-199  3  2  1  7  $200-221*  2  3  7  $225-21*9  1  1  3  $250-271*  2  2  5  $275-300  1  2  5  Over $300  1  5  11*  15  56  TOTAL^  1  Including one case with rent not stated,  Table 11  Tenant Families of Little'Mountain Distribution by Income Levels  Total Family Income(a) per month  Distribution 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  Median Income Total Sample of Tenant Families Source:  (a)  $21*0  100  Quartile Range $188 - 268  Sample count of one out of every two families who were resident i n L i t t l e Mountain housing project as at December 1st, 1951*.  Income relates to earnings of families prior to admittance to L i t t l e Mountainj infra Appendix F.  Table 12  Wage-Earner Families by Earnings o f Head Census Metropolitan Area o f Vancouver, 1901  Income per Tear  Number o f 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 97,723  TOTAL  Median annual income Source:  $2,006  Census o f Canada, 1901, Housing and Families: summarized from Table 130.  APPENDIX D SCHEDULE USED FOR SUMMARIZING FAMILY AND HOUSING INFORMATION  F (age)  M.  Family:  Children M (age)  Income:  0 ...  Total persons ...  F*.•;..*;  F $.  Other earners  M  Total assets  U  Sk  CI y  Accommodation:  Rent:  $...  H  A  R  B  Pr 0/A  $...  s  P/A  K  P S F  Total rooms ...  R $... M $... 0  H  L  Length of residence (a) (b) (c)  Sh  Reasons f o r wishing to move:  Abbreviations on the schedule which are not r e a d i l y understandable are the following: Family: father(F) and mother(M); c h i l d r e n , male(M) and female(F) with spaces for the number of c h i l d r e n according to age group (under s i x years, and s i x years and over r e s p e c t i v e l y ) ; other persons i n family(O). Occupations, unskilled(U), s k i l l e d ( S k ) , c l e r i c a l ( C l ) ,  professional  (Pr), i n business on own account(0/A), i n r e c e i p t 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 s i x months(a), s i x 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 l i g h t ( L ) or i s shelter rent only(Sh). The reverse side of the card was reserved for notes on p a r t i c u l a r items i n the family and housing circumstances of applicants.  APPENDIX  E  NOTES ON DEFINITION OF INCOME A c a r e f u l e f f o r t was made to ensure, as f a r as possible, the v a l i d i t y of income figures used i n the t a b u l a t i o n s i n view of the >  p o s s i b i l i t y that the incomes a c t u a l l y returned by applicants were something o f an understatement.  Each a p p l i c a t i o n form contained d e t a i l e d  information on the employment and earnings of a l l members of the applicant family; t h i s information Included the period o f employment, the rate o f pay, t o t a l income during the previous year, and the a p p l i cant's estimate of income i n the coming year.  In a large number o f  cases t h i s information had been checked i n a personal interview between the family and the representative o f the Vancouver Housing Authority; additional confirmation was also a v a i l a b l e i n some cases In the s t a t e ment o f earnings furnished by the chief-earner's employer. of these cross-checks i t was possible t o make a reasonably estimate of each family's income.  By means reliable  1  Seasonal work, temporary l a y - o f f s , change of jobs, and sickness accounted f o r a great deal of i r r e g u l a r i t y i n the earnings o f the f a m i l i e s sampled.  Accordingly, i n order to provide some measure o f  consistency, income l e v e l s o f applicants quoted i n the two samples r e f e r 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 f o r tenancy the Vancouver Housing Authority takes as i t s measure current family income).  The f i n a n c i a l  status of some f a m i l i e s may have improved since the base period r e f e r r e d to i n t h i s study; f o r others i t may have deteriorated, but the figures give a representative p i c t u r e of the income s i t u a t i o n f o r a p a r t i c u l a r  APPENDIX E - page 2  sample of the population during Chief-earner  1953-5U*  refers u s u a l l y 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 S o c i a l Issues; s p e c i a l issue on S o c i a l P o l i c y and S o c i a l Research i n Housing, Vol.VII, Nos.l and 2, 1951. Carver, Humphrey, Houses f o r 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 O f f i c e , Housing Policy; housing standards, the o r ganization and financing of low-cost housing and the r e l a t i o n of house b u i l d i n g to the general l e v e l o f employment, International Labour O f f i c e , Montreal, 19lj5. Marsh, Leonard, "The Economics of Low-Rent Housing", Canadian Journal o f 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 r e h a b i l i t a t i o n project i n a key central area i n Vancouver, The University o f B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver, 1950.  Riemer, Svend, "Architecture f o r Family L i v i n g " , The Journal of S o c i a l Issues; s p e c i a l issue on S o c i a l P o l i c y and S o c i a l Research i n Housing, Vol.VII, Nos. 1 and 2, 1951. Vancouver Housing Association, Housing Vancouver; a survey o f the housing p o s i t i o n i n Vancouver., Vancouver Housing Association, March I9I46, (Mimeo.). A Survey of Rooming Houses i n the West-End and Downtown D i s t r i c t s o f Vancouver, Vancouver Housing Association, December 1951, (Mimeo.). Survey o f Families with Children L i v i n g i n Shared Accommodation, Vancouver Housing Association, May. 195W> (Mimeo.) Vancouver Housing Association and Community Planning Association o f Canada (B.C. D i v i s i o n ) , Houses f o r A l l ; proceedings of the Housing Conference, Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia, January 1951;, (Mimeo.) Wallace, Anthony, Housing and S o c i a l Structure; a preliminary survey with p a r t i c u l a r reference to multi-storey, low-rent p u b l i c housing projects, Reproduced by the Philadelphia Housing Authority, 1952, (Litho.) Welfare Council of Greater Toronto, A Guide to Family Spending; Summary Tables repriced February 1 s t , 1952, Welfare Council o f Greater Toronto, 1952, (Mimeo.). Wilson, Warren, Housing Conditions Among S o c i a l Assistance Families, Master of S o c i a l Work t h e s i s , University o f B r i t i s h 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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