Photo from vitalsigns.ca

Jobs, affordable housing, poverty key issues in London

The latest check-up on London is revealing some startling statistics about the financial well-being of the community.

The London Community Foundation released its “Vital Signs” report on Wednesday. The biennial report says the most significant issues facing London are affordable housing, poverty, and employment. The report says over 70,000 Londoners live in poverty, with one in four children living below the poverty line. For Indigenous children, the figure is closer to four in 10.

“Our community is only as strong as our most vulnerable person,” said Foundation President and CEO Martha Powell in a statement issued Wednesday. “This report tells us that we’re falling behind on some key measures of well-being. But it doesn’t have to be this way.”

The report highlights the struggles some Londoners have when it comes to finding affordable housing. It cites a 1.8 per cent vacancy rate and notes that nearly half of London renters are spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent.

A total of seven issue areas are covered in the report: health and wellness, housing, inequality, employment, environment, learning and education, and belonging.

“As leaders, mobilizers, and agents of social change, the Foundation hopes the report will spark important conversations around the future of our city,” the foundation said in a news release. “LCF has committed to hosting a series of Vital Conversations over the next two years in an effort to convene change makers to connect, collaborate and have action-oriented discussions around our community’s most pressing issues.

The full report can be read here.