September 28, 2010

Reality Check 2 -- Housing

One of the assumptions in the K-W PFIB Challenge is that the housing portion of social assistance -- $356 -- covers the cost of my housing. 

I checked in with a friend who lived for years on ODSP whether that is a realistic assumption. He wrote back to say that in reality, social assistance only covers about 55% of actual housing costs.

So I did the math. I looked at my actual housing costs -- mortgage payments, property tax, hydro, water and gas. I live in a modest house. So my mortgage payments and property tax are not that high. Since I live in a household of five I adjusted the actual cost with the same formula used to develop the Market Basket Measure.

The actual cost of housing for me is $578.55 a month. So the social assistance housing allowance really only covers about 61% of my actual housing costs.

The total social assistance allowance only adds up to $572 -- $356 for housing and $216 for everything else. That means that in reality I would start the month about $7 in the hole.

So much for having $20 a week for food.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for doing the math on that, Greg. I don't actually have any mortgage payments, but I do have a line of credit on the house, so my costs -- larger house, more taxes, more utility costs -- would be about the same. Does this man we have to give our food money back? Pretty depressing...