New immigrants are the 'hidden homeless'
A new study on immigrant housing warns that thousands of newcomers continue to live in shared, overcrowded housing, especially in Toronto, where affordable rental units are in short supply.
Anthony Rosario, his wife and three adult children shared a two-bedroom apartment in Scarborough when they first came from Bangladesh in 1998.
At times, they also shared their already crowded dwelling with other families, converting available space into bedrooms.
Space was tight but so was their budget, with their $900-a-month rent eating up half the family's monthly income.
Up until February, Rosario and his wife, Mary, were still sharing their two-bedroom apartment with his son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.
"It's tough to live with so many people in so little space, but you are bound to live like this when you don't have money," said Rosario, 61, a bakery chef, who two months ago finally moved into a subsidized seniors' apartment after four years on the waiting list.