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Housing costs make food buying hard for two-thirds of families: Poll

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Almost all — 92% — have taken measures to battle food inflation

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Nearly two-thirds, or 65%, surveyed in Canada say their housing costs — both mortgages and rent — make it hard to buy food for their families.

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The new Angus Reid Institute poll results come as the Bank of Canada announced last week it was hiking its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.50%.

The survey found 58% of Canadian mortgage holders say their payments take up the majority of their budget while 74% of renters say the same of their rent.

Almost all — 92% — have taken measures to battle food inflation with 72% getting rid of takeout meals and 62% making the move to buy cheaper brands.

For the 70% who say their rent or mortgage causes them to spend less elsewhere, they say an unexpected expense of more than $1,000 wouldn’t be possible to pay within their budget.

The survey also found 83% of renters with a child under age 13 say rent eats into their monthly budget. It wasn’t much better for households without young children, as 71% said the same.

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The poll found 51% of those who say rent or mortgage isn’t problematic still stress over money, while for the rest of mortgage and renters, 87% experience financial stress.

The Angus Reid Institute surveyed 1,622 Canadian adults online from Feb. 11-13 with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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