Connect with us

Anglais

‘Renters are not second-class citizens.’ Push is on to change culture, policy for long-term tenants

Published

on

[ad_1]

Amanda Ferguson, 33, imagines Toronto’s astronomical rents are dinner- party fodder for people of her parents’ generation and her contemporaries living in small-town Ontario.

But renting is a longer-term and costly reality for more young professionals like Ferguson.

“It’s what you do to survive and balance the books,” she said.

At their own dinner parties, Ferguson and her friends talk about solutions to the high cost of housing — the possibility of commuting to Hamilton or moving to a smaller city — amid the mounting impossibility of owning in the Toronto region where the average detached or semi-detached home costs about $1 million.

A slavish devotion to home ownership in Canada, which has one of the highest rates in the world, and the growing gap between household incomes of tenants and homeowners in the Toronto region have helped attach a stigma to renting.

But with home ownership rates dipping in Canada, there’s a move afoot to normalize renting by pushing for policy and regulations that would give tenants the kind of security and control normally attached to home ownership.

Generation Squeeze, a Vancouver lobby group led by University of British Columbia professor Paul Kershaw, focuses on the economic plight of adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s struggling to pay for housing and child care. It has launched a petition and campaign called We Rent, to push politicians to level the playing field between renters and home owners.

The most obvious way to do that is by increasing the stock of affordable and market-rate, purpose-built rentals that provide tenants with the security and professional management that provides them with security of tenure, says Generation Squeeze.

It wants the government to help by making the business model for rental development competitive with condos by using tax incentives such as GST rebates.

The guiding principle of We Rent is that “renters are not second-class citizens.”

It’s a cultural phenomenon that we prioritize home ownership, said Kershaw. For a long time it wasn’t as challenging to own a home in Canada as it is today in cities, particularly the two least affordable centres, Toronto and Vancouver.

“It became a sign of adulthood — you left the nest, you’ve got your own space and there’s some autonomy that comes with home ownership,” he said.

It’s not just about whether you can own a pet or paint your apartment. It’s about knowing that, as a renter, your child can access a particular school and stay there until they graduate in the same way that a homeowner is secure they can stay in the neighbourhood.

In the five years she has lived in Toronto, Ferguson, a communications professional, has been evicted twice. In both cases the landlords said they were moving her out to move in their relatives. Both instances followed conversations about illegal rent increases, she said.

When she moved to Toronto, Ferguson paid $1,350 for a one-bedroom apartment. The next place cost $1,450. Forced out again into the city’s 1 per cent vacancy rate in August, the average price was about $2,000, she said.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto in the third quarter of this year was $2,056, according to market research firm Urbanation.

“They say you’re supposed to spend 30 per cent of your income on housing. That number is no longer realistic in Toronto unless you room-mate up,” she said.

She cites cities like London, England, where even established adults have flat-mates as the only feasible way of affording a home.

After the second eviction Ferguson and her boyfriend decided to look for a place together. They lucked out with an older-large two-bedroom place for $2,450.

Growing up in Amhertsburg, a town of about 22,000 half an hour south of Windsor, Ferguson remembers a big house with a lawn and being able to run to her to her friends’ houses nearby.

Owning a home “is something that’s instilled in me as the next step,” she said. “It’s kind of sad that it’s potentially off the table or, in order to get that, I’d be looking at a three-hour commute round trip from Hamilton.”

The benefits of renting are often under-rated, said Chris Spoke, who rents part of a Leslieville house with his wife and baby daughter, and is a founder of Toronto advocacy group, Housing Matters.

“When you think about things like labour mobility, being flexible enough to move to where the opportunity is, you’re less tied down. That’s something that you see as we extoll the virtues and benefits of home ownership — you do see less labour mobility and less flexibility on these fronts than societies that have higher rental rates,” he said.

Canadians have subscribed to the notion that housing is an investment. Increasing the value of that investment is incompatible with creating more affordable housing, Spoke said.

About the same time builders stopped making purpose-built rentals in the Toronto region, municipalities enshrined zoning rules that protect established neighbourhoods from denser, more affordable housing such as apartments, duplexes or triplexes.

For many Canadians, home ownership is a retirement fund — a way of paying yourself — Kershaw said.

“We’ve distorted that to say you’re going to pay yourself in an asset that we want to grow faster than the economy. We want it to be the best part of your portfolio. That has gone hand in hand in many big cities in Canada with home prices escalating far faster than economic growth and as a result leaving earnings behind,” he said.

A generation ago it took five years of full-time work to save a 20 per cent downpayment on an average priced home in Vancouver and across Canada.

“If you flash forward to today . . . it would take 13 years to save a 20 per cent payment on an average priced home in Canada,” said Kershaw. “In Ontario it is 16 years. In British Columbia it’s 19 years. In the GTA, it is 22 years and in Metro Vancouver it is 27 years.”

Given how horrifying those statistics are, he said, “We just have to anticipate that we are on a route where more and more people are going to be renters for longer periods of their lives.”

Tess Kalinowski is a Toronto-based reporter covering real estate. Follow her on Twitter: @tesskalinowski

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Anglais

12 strategies to manage credit card payments and debt

Published

on

By

Today, almost everyone carries a credit card in their wallets. It is used to pay for almost everything from groceries to flight tickets to gas.

If managed properly, credit cards can be an essential financial tool that allows users to build credible credit, earn money back and gain great perks, like purchase protection and insurance. However, carrying a poor credit balance can plunge you into massive debt.

“Credit card debt is very high-interest debt, typically in the neighbourhood of 20% or more,” said Scott Hannah, president and CEO of Credit Counselling Society in a report.

If you have a balance payment on your credit card, clearing it off can be a difficult task if you’re a low-income earner—or you’ve already incurred too much debt that after using a credit card payment calculator you know you’ll be unable to pay back.

However, no matter how terrible you think your current situation is, there’s always a way out that works best for you. With interest on loans compounding everyday, there’s little wonder why clearing a credit card debt is so difficult. In fact, according to MNP, an accounting firm, nearly half of all Canadians are less than $200 per month away from becoming financially insolvent.

Tackling credit card debt can seem quite tedious, especially with many people choosing to ignore the problem and just keep making the minimum payment. Here are some practical strategies you can take advantage of to effectively tackle credit card debt.

1. Gain a complete understanding of your debt problem

This starting point for anyone trying to get out of debt is to understand why you’re in debt, in the first place.

Critically examine all areas of your finances to determine if your expenses don’t match your finances or if it was due to an unforeseen circumstance such as a medical emergency. Whatever the case may be, it is very important to know the reason why you are in so much debt so you can effectively tackle the root cause.

2. Look into your spending habits

Typically, one quick way to stop yourself from running into credit card debt is to examine your spending habits. What are the things you spend your credit card on? Are they essentials or things that can be easily done away with?

According to Hannah, most people can only account for about 75 to 80 per cent of their monthly expenditures and the remaining gets blurry. It is important to track your expenditure—whether it’s an extra shot of drinks at the bar or a box of cereal from the supermarket. Knowing what you spend money on allows you to build a better financial strategy against debt.

3. Build a budget

Once you have a clear picture of what your monthly expenses are, building a budget becomes the most important step towards managing your income better. Having one central location for tracking both your income and expenses is great in curtailing unnecessary spending and getting you out of debt.

Your budget needs to contain all of your expenses incorporated from essentials like groceries, mortgage, medical care and insurance to others such as utilities. While most people struggle to stick to their budget, you can create some margin for flexibility to make it easier for you.

4. Increase your minimum payment

For most credit cards, the minimum payment is approximately 2 per cent of the last month’s balance. But therein lies the problem because if you consistently pay only the minimum, then the lump of that money goes straight to your interest and not the principal.

Paying some extra money every month would go a long way in helping you clear your credit card debt faster and reduce the compounding interest.

5. Ask for a lower rate

It is very possible to negotiate for a lower rate with your bank; only thing is, most people tend not to do so. If you find yourself struggling with paying back your credit card debt, you can reach out to your lender and ask them to offer you a lower rate.

Long-time customers who have a history of making timely payments have more advantage with getting their request approved.

6. Take advantage of a balance transfer promotion

In a bid to entice new customers, lenders run promotions periodically on balance transfers for their credit cards. Basically, these offers involve having a low-interest rate between 0 to 2 per cent for a limited period—usually between 6 to 10 months.

Always be on the lookout for a lender that offers the lowest rates and longest promotional period, which would give you enough time to clear your debt.

7. Switch to a low-interest credit card

Once you have critically examined your spending habit and created a budget, yet it is obvious that you will always carry over a credit card balance, then it is time to switch to a low-interest credit card.

While these types of credit cards usually have little perks, they are quite useful in wiping a couple of percentage points off your interest. Typically, rates on low-interest credit cards vary but they could be as low as half the interest on a regular card.

8. Begin an avalanche

The avalanche method is great for those who have a lot of debt with several creditors. This method means you’d make the minimum payments on all your existing debts and then add any extra income to the debt that has the highest interest rate.

Using the avalanche method allows you to reduce the interest paid while clearing multiple debts.

9. Use the debt snowball approach

Another debt repayment strategy that you should consider is the debt snowball method. In this strategy, you would focus on paying off your small debt first before moving to the larger ones—all whilst still paying the minimum on all other debt—regardless of interest rate.

10. Get an extra income source

Creating additional streams of income goes a long way in helping you clear your credit card debt. By finding a better paying job or choosing a good side hustle, you can easily put down more money towards your debt repayment.

There’s a lot of gigs you can offer today to raise extra money such as writing, graphic design, proofreading, teaching and programming.

11. Use a personal loan

If your credit card balance is quite high, paying it off using a personal loan may be very advantageous. While the interest rates on credit cards can be as high as 29 per cent, with a good credit score you can qualify for a personal loan at a lower rate.

The main advantage of using this strategy is being able to pay off multiple credit card debts and focus on making single but fixed monthly payments on the remaining loan. Also, you spend lesser money on interest costs and repaying the loan in instalment would boost your credit score.

12. Spend more cash

Despite being very valuable items, credit cards can quickly run you into massive debt when not used properly. If you already have some debt yet to be paid, it is better to spend more cash than accumulate more debt on your credit card.

Get a low-interest credit card but only use it in emergencies once you know there isn’t enough money in your bank account to pay off the accumulated debt.

Continue Reading

Anglais

‘Business as usual’ for Dorel Industries after terminating go-private deal

Published

on

By

MONTREAL — Dorel Industries Inc. says it will continue to pursue its business strategy going forward after terminating an agreement to go private after discussions with shareholders.

« Moving ahead. Business as usual, » a spokesman for the company said in an email on Monday.

A group led by Cerberus Capital Management had previously agreed to buy outstanding shares of Dorel for $16 apiece, except for shares owned by the family that controls the company’s multiple-voting shares.

But Dorel chief executive Martin Schwartz said the Montreal-based maker of car seats, strollers, bicycles and home furniture pulled the plug on a deal on the eve of Tuesday’s special meeting after reviewing votes from shareholders.

“Independent shareholders have clearly expressed their confidence in Dorel’s future and the greater potential for Dorel as a public entity, » he said in a news release.

Dorel’s board of directors, with Martin Schwartz, Alan Schwartz, Jeffrey Schwartz and Jeff Segel recused, unanimously approved the deal’s termination upon the recommendation of a special committee.

The transaction required approval by two-thirds of the votes cast, and more than 50 per cent of the votes cast by non-family shareholders.

Schwartz said enhancing shareholder value remains a top priority while it stays focused on growing its brands, which include Schwinn and Mongoose bikes, Safety 1st-brand car seats and DHP Furniture.

Dorel said the move to end the go-private deal was mutual, despite the funds’ increased purchase price offer earlier this year.

It said there is no break fee applicable in this case.

Montreal-based investment firm Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc. and San Diego’s Brandes Investment Partners LP, which together control more than 19 per cent of Dorel’s outstanding class B subordinate shares voiced their opposition to the amended offer, which was increased from the initial Nov. 2 offer of $14.50 per share.

« We believe that several minority shareholders shared our opinion, » said Letko vice-president Stephane Lebrun, during a phone interview.

« We are confident of the long-term potential of the company and we have confidence in the managers in place.”

Continue Reading

Anglais

Pandemic funds helping Montreal businesses build for a better tomorrow

Published

on

By

Many entrepreneurs have had to tap into government loans during the pandemic, at first just to survive, but now some are using the money to better prepare their businesses for the post-COVID future.

One of those businesses is Del Friscos, a popular family restaurant in Dollard-des-Ormeaux that, like many Montreal-area restaurants, has had to adapt from a sit-down establishment to one that takes orders online for takeout or delivery.

“It was hard going from totally in-house seating,” said Del Friscos co-owner Terry Konstas. “We didn’t have an in-house delivery system, which we quickly added. There were so many of our employees that were laid off that wanted to work so we adapted to a delivery system and added platforms like Uber and DoorDash.”

Helping them through the transition were emergency grants and low-interest loans from the federal and provincial governments, some of which are directly administered by PME MTL, a non-profit business-development organization established to assist the island’s small and medium-sized businesses.

Konstas said he had never even heard of PME MTL until a customer told him about them and when he got in touch, he discovered there were many government programs available to help his business get through the downturn and build for the future. “They’ve been very helpful right from day one,” said Konstas.

“We used some of the funds to catch up on our suppliers and our rents, the part that wasn’t covered from the federal side, and we used some of it for our new virtual concepts,” he said, referring to a virtual kitchen model which the restaurant has since adopted.

The virtual kitchen lets them create completely different menu items from the casual American Italian dishes that Del Friscos is known for and market them under different restaurant brand names. Under the Prasinó Soup & Salad banner, they sell healthy Greek options and their Stallone’s Sub Shop brand offers hearty sandwiches, yet the food from both is created in the same Del Friscos kitchen.

Continue Reading

Chat

Anglais4 semaines ago

12 strategies to manage credit card payments and debt

Affaires1 mois ago

Prudence avec le passeport vaccinal

Affaires1 mois ago

Le secteur touristique autochtone s’attendait à beaucoup plus du budget fédéral

Affaires1 mois ago

La fintech canadienne Mogo ajoute 146 autres Ethereum à son portefeuille de crypto

Affaires1 mois ago

Les entreprises canadiennes estiment que l’épuisement professionnel nuira au résultat net des entreprises cette année, selon une nouvelle étude de Sage au Canada

Affaires1 mois ago

Chaire de recherche du Canada sur les matériaux de construction multifonctionnels durables

Affaires1 mois ago

Les Canadiens seront vaccinés

Affaires1 mois ago

Samsung Canada et Tim Hortons poursuivent la transformation numérique des services au volant en prévoyant la mise en place de 2 600 écrans extérieurs dans tout le Canada d’ici la fin de 2021.

Affaires1 mois ago

Le Canada mise sur le nucléaire pour réduire les GES

Affaires1 mois ago

Les mesures sanitaires font reculer les ventes de Tim Hortons

Affaires1 mois ago

L’Université de Montréal a caché un laboratoire nucléaire pendant la guerre

Affaires1 mois ago

Économie : les postes vacants coûtent 8 M $ par jour au secteur de la transformation alimentaire

Opinions1 mois ago

J’ai peur du projet de loi 59

Opinions1 mois ago

La protection de nos enfants, c’est aussi l’affaire du municipal

Opinions1 mois ago

Crise du logement : le Parti libéral du Québec en mode solutions

Opinions1 mois ago

Des témoins condamnent le comportement de certains députés envers elles

Opinions1 mois ago

Québec solidaire demande à ses membres de se prononcer sur une faction du parti

Opinions1 mois ago

Chevaliers de la «libarté»

Opinions1 mois ago

Se taire ou faire usage de sa liberté d’expression citoyenne?

Opinions1 mois ago

Contrer les féminicides: de la considération à la préoccupation!

Anglais3 années ago

Body found after downtown Lethbridge apartment building fire, police investigating – Lethbridge

Styles De Vie3 années ago

Salon du chocolat 2018: les 5 temps forts

Anglais2 années ago

This B.C. woman’s recipe is one of the most popular of all time — and the story behind it is bananas

Santé Et Nutrition3 années ago

Gluten-Free Muffins

Anglais2 années ago

27 CP Rail cars derail near Lake Louise, Alta.

Anglais2 années ago

Man facing eviction from family home on Toronto Islands gets reprieve — for now

Santé Et Nutrition3 années ago

We Try Kin Euphorics and How to REALLY Get the Glow | Healthyish

Anglais2 années ago

Ontario’s Tories hope Ryan Gosling video will keep supporters from breaking up with the party

Anglais2 années ago

A photo taken on Toronto’s Corso Italia 49 years ago became a family legend. No one saw it — until now

Anglais3 années ago

Condo developer Thomas Liu — who collected millions but hasn’t built anything — loses court fight with Town of Ajax

Styles De Vie3 années ago

Renaud Capuçon, rédacteur en chef du Figaroscope

Anglais2 années ago

This couple shares a 335-square-foot micro condo on Queen St. — and loves it

Mode2 années ago

Paris : chez Cécile Roederer co-fondatrice de Smallable

Anglais3 années ago

Ontario Tories argue Trudeau’s carbon plan is ‘unconstitutional’

Styles De Vie2 années ago

Ford Ranger Raptor, le pick-up roule des mécaniques

Affaires2 années ago

Le Forex devient de plus en plus accessible aux débutants

Anglais3 années ago

100 years later, Montreal’s Black Watch regiment returns to Wallers, France

Anglais3 années ago

Trudeau government would reject Jason Kenney, taxpayers group in carbon tax court fight

Technologie2 années ago

YouTube recommande de la pornographie juvénile, allègue un internaute

Anglais2 années ago

Province’s push for private funding, additional stops puts Scarborough subway at risk of delays

Trending