LIEN is very concerned about the impact of smart submetering on housing affordability for low-income tenants who right now pay for electricity in their rent and already struggle to pay for other basic necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medicine.
Having utilities included in rent is a fundamental and valuable term in residential rental contracts, providing tenants with some degree of certainty with respect to expected costs in order to make crucial household budget decisions.
People on social assistance, single-parent families, the elderly, visible minorities, immigrants and persons with disabilities are all over-represented in the population of low-income tenants. They are particularly vulnerable to increases in shelter and utility costs - increases which are difficult to absorb and which could put their housing in jeopardy.
For information on smart submetering, please refer to the resources below: