Affordable housing, poverty and employment highlighted as key issues facing Londoners in 2018 Vital Signs report

Oct. 09, 2018

On October 10, 2018 at Design House London, London Community Foundation (LCF) launched Vital Signs – a bi-annual check-in on the state of our community. Through the lens of belonging, this year’s report finds affordable housing, poverty and employment to be the most significant issues facing Londoners today.

Feeling a sense of belonging is a human need – just as important as food or shelter. Intersecting with all aspects of life, belonging is the glue that holds our community together. The integral link between belonging and community is what inspired LCF to focus on this theme in its 2018 Vital Signs report.

“Our community is only as strong as our most vulnerable person,” says Martha Powell, President & CEO, London Community Foundation. “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 is a call to action for Londoners to believe in the future of London and what we can be.

Although our community has some challenges, this isn’t the starting line. We have many passionate people and organizations in our community doing great work. This is the next part of our journey, a commitment to tackle our community’s most pressing issues. Together, we can create the London that we all want to see.” - Martha Powell

The report highlights seven issue areas including: health and wellness, housing, inequality, employment, environment, learning and education, and belonging. Integrating the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, a universal framework and call to action to tackle inequalities and create a better future for all, Vital Signs aims to connect the work we are doing locally to the global community.

A few of the most concerning statistics revealed in this year’s report are around affordable housing, poverty, and employment. As the gap between the rich and poor in our community continues to widen, we are seeing increasing disparities and our community’s most vulnerable are being left at risk.

The report identifies London’s housing affordability issue with a shrinking vacancy rate at 1.8% and 46.5% of London renters spending more than 30% of their income on rent. Furthermore, over 70,000 Londoners are living in poverty with one in four children living in poverty. And while we have seen praise for the lowest unemployment rate in recent years, our labour market participation rate is only 60.5%, one of the lowest in Ontario indicating a job to skill mismatch.

As leaders, mobilizers, and agents of social change, the Foundation hopes the report will spark important conversations around the future of our city. 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. 

To learn more visit www.londonvitalsigns.ca and sign up to be a part of the ongoing discussion to connect, collaborate, and build the London we all dream of.

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