Affordable housing, rising living costs, and transportation and access to services.

Those are the main challenges rural communities in Middlesex County face when dealing with poverty in their communities, according to a roundtable on poverty in small towns that took place in Strathroy Wednesday.

The event was organized by local MPP Monte McNaughton, who said his goal was to listen to the stories and concerns from people on the front line dealing with poverty, so he can take those issues to the provincial government.

“We just want to get that first-hand knowledge on how poverty is impacting our local families,” he said. “I have been an MPP for five years now, and every year our office and I have identified rural poverty as a growing issue. We hear the stories of people living in cars, of people living in garden sheds here in our small towns, and I think it is a disservice to those people that the government is not raising this issue.