While the need for decent affordable housing is something we can all understand, the connection between housing and health might be less obvious.

Housing is considered an important social determinant of health, a factor that influences our opportunity to be healthy and live a long life. People who are not able to afford safe and secure housing are at more risk for health problems. Unsafe or inadequate housing can cause an increase in illness and premature death from infection, heart disease, asthma, and mental illness, as well as fatal injuries. The high cost of housing can also limit the amount of money people have left over for food, child care and transportation.

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Housing is considered affordable if it costs less than 30 per cent of before-tax household income.

However, in both Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka almost half of renters spend more of their total household income than that on rent.