Poverty in York Region
12.7% of York Region residents live in poverty, the highest rates being in Markham and Unionville. Despite being known as a very affluent region, 15% of children living in York region are living in poverty. Markham-Unionville has the highest number of people living in poverty with 22.5% of people under the age of 18 living in poverty. Newcomers comprise more than one-third of people living in poverty. Even though they may have skills and experience, newcomers have higher rates of unemployment. Then, when they do find work, it’s largely part-time and low-wage jobs.
The solution does not lie solely in government money but in community programs, job and skills training, donations and volunteers. There needs to be significant policy change, access to affordable housing and community involvement. “A solution to poverty shouldn’t be up to the government alone. It’s everybody’s responsibility.” (York Region, 2012)