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The rents charged in London, ON have increased dramatically over the past two years. To obtain a one bedroom apartment in a semi-decent area costs, at a minimum, $900 a month plus utilities. Most affordable rents - if you want to call it that - are in decrepid buildings with sketchy tenants and bad environments.... an environment one certainly wouldn't want to raise their child in, especially if they are used to living in a nicer area. Families that have fallen apart, often are living in nice areas, nice homes, but due to separation, are forced to live in an apartment and cannot do so unless they are prepared to live in an area that is certainly not safe for a child to run around in. It is not fair to anyone who is trying to live a decent lifestyle even if they are on assistance, to be forced to live in squalor...and most of London Housing units are the same. I lost my home due to losing my job to privatization and am now living in an affordable apartment, but it's riddled with centipedes and spiders and is in a bad area of the city. But it's all I can afford until I can get rent geared-to-income with housing....and that's a seven or eight year wait, I'm told...which means I have about five or six years left to go. Even still, it's not like London Housing is something I'm looking forward to... I've been there before and it was not a fun experience. It is not nice to wake up to a dead body in your backyard, especially when you have a young child and an infant in your home! But thankfully, I know the bad areas in the city and have chosen as best I can. Certainly aren't going to be worse than where I am. London is being turned into a small metropolis of Toronto and by charging the rents that are out there, is absolutely ludicrous...forces homelessness or forces people to live with others. There is no reason why people who don't have high incomes, who are respectable citizens, should be forced to live in these conditions. Another example, is the highrise that went up at King and Lyle streets. Beautiful looking building and I'm sure the apartments are equally stunning. There is parking, at an extra fee and underground parking at an additional fee to that. There is also 24 hour security. Well, I wonder why that would be? Because of the area that it's in? Absolutely! And they charge $900 for a bachelor there? Ridiculous. I wouldn't live in that area unless I absolutely had no other choice...but it certainly wouldn't be that building. I can't afford that kind of rent. It's almost as though the government is forcing the poor out of London and into rural areas where the rent will be cheaper. Instead of allowing more highrises and homes being built in the city, why not make most of those, if not all, into geared to income? That would certainly reduce, if not eliminate, the seven or eight year wait. Take a walk downtown in London sometime... it's absolutely heartwrenching. But this topic also needs to look at the needs of persons suffering from mental health issues or drug addicts. Agreed, those individuals should have their own specialized housing, as most require community supervision to some degree. I can't even think about moving ...all because the cost of rent has skyrocketed...and it's not right. I only get a fixed income from ODSP and CPPD...certainly not wasting 85% of it on rent, never mind there are other bills and items of necessity that are required. I am asking for the government to step in and reduce the rents being charged and increase housing for geared to income households. As for the comments I have made in respect of London Housing units... I invite you to take a walk through the townhouse complex at Millbank and Southdale; 1481 Limberlost; Connaught Avenue..and there are a host of others. See how eager you would be to have to live there...but you are forced to because you can't afford anything else and you have no place else to go and that's all housing has available until who knows when. I'm thinking you wouldn't be feeling too good about having to make that type of move. Consider where you live now... likely in a gorgeous home most may only dream to live in...but things fall apart and you are forced into the type of situations I have set out. Something to look forward to? I would think not. Thank you for your time.
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