(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

Comment from blog author:  this blog post includes two articles regarding the effects that low income can have on young individuals and low income persons.  While it is entirely appropriate to provide government assistance to parents with children, more attention needs to be paid to singles and millennials particularly after they leave home and before marriage.

Shocking statistics show that in one of the richest provinces (Alberta) there were in January 2014, 33,000 Alberta Income Support program (excluding AISH) recipients of all ages.  Alberta Income Support program in January, 2017, had 54,374 recipients and in January, 2018, 57,003 recipients.  Makeup of claimants in 2017 and 2018 include individuals 69%, lone-parent families 24%, couples with children 5%, and couples alone 3%.  Totals do not say how many are turned away and do not include those who on verge of poverty.


UNPREDICTABLE EMPLOYMENT MAY BE BAD FOR BRAIN HEALTH by Lisa Rapaport, October10, 2019 (unpredictable-income)

(Reuters Health) – Young adults who don’t earn the same amount of money from year to year, or who weather substantial pay cuts, do worse on brain health assessments in midlife compared to those with steady income, a recent study suggests.

Researchers collected income data over two decades for 3,287 adults, starting in 1990 when they were 23 to 35 years old. They assessed income volatility based on how much earnings rose or fell from one year to the next, and also tallied how many times participants’ income dropped by at least 25%.

People who experienced greater income volatility and more pay cuts had worse scores for processing speed and executive functioning in cognitive tests in 2010. Brain scans that year also showed reduced connective white matter and worse structural integrity for people who experienced more income volatility and pay cuts.

“Overall, income volatility and unfavorable socioeconomic conditions may increase exposure to several risk factors of poor brain health,” said Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, a researcher at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City.

“Individuals who experience important income fluctuations may be more at risk for cardiovascular risk factors, depression or perceived stress, which are in turn associated with poor cognitive health,” Zeki Al Hazzouri said by email. “In addition, they may have lower access to high-quality healthcare, which may result in worse management of these risk factors, and potentiate their impact on brain health.”

Changes in cognitive test scores and brain scans didn’t appear to differ when researchers only looked at participants with the most education.

Almost half of the participants, 1,780 people, didn’t have any income drops of 25% or more during the study period. People in this group had average annual income of US$39,681.

Another 1,108 people experienced one major income decline during the study period, and this group had average annual income of US$32,253. And 399 individuals with average annual income of US$33,326 experienced two or more substantial income reductions.

Having multiple income drops appeared worse for brain health than having a single large drop during the study period.

The study wasn’t designed to prove whether earnings volatility directly impacts brain health.

However, economic struggles have been associated with unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking and inactivity that could in turn contribute to worse brain health, poor cognitive function and dementia, the study team writes in Neurology.

“It’s well established that lower socioeconomic status is linked with poorer health,” said Dr. Joel Salinas, an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston who wrote an editorial accompanying the study.

“Factors like income volatility are especially significant when a recession looms,” Salinas said by email. “Times of individual and societal instability can have tremendous and enduring consequences – far beyond the economic, extending into the long term potential for entire communities to thrive.  SOURCE: https://bit.ly/35pNssA and https://bit.ly/2IERiV4 Neurology, online October 2, 2019.

FINANCIAL AND MENTAL HEALTH PRESSURES MOUNT ON STUDENTS by Joel Schlesinger (copied from written format, unable to find link)

It is supposed to be a time of learning, leading to a brighter future: a good career that contributes to society’s betterment while enriching their own lives.

Yet many Alberta post-secondary students are struggling to keep up with the costs of education and living.

And it’s affecting their mental health.

That’s the key message from student leaders at three of the largest post-secondary institutions in the province who were asked what are the biggest challenges facing students today.

And all indicated rising costs and mental health top the list.

“Not every student faces the same challenges, but there are very common threads that tie together their experience,” says Jessica Revington, president of the University of Calgary Students’ Union.

“Overall, I would say the costs of education and a lack of support are two big buckets many challenges fall into.”

Indeed, the difficulty paying for rising tuition, managing debt-loads and the growing cost of living are wearing on students, who are increasingly seeking support.

“Right now  there are challenges in connecting students to these supports,” Revington says.  “So while we may be talking about stress, we’re not providing supports for students to help them manage it in healthy ways.”

These challenges are echoed by the University of Alberta Students’ Union president Akanksha Bhatnagar.

“Research has shown a lot of the alarming rates of depression, anxiety and loneliness,” she says.

Another concern is sexual violence on campus, she adds.  “It’s hard to paint a completely picture of sexual violence, but we know that incidence of on-campus sexual violence is a top concern for students.”

The same holds true with other troubling issues including suicide, food bank use and even homelessness.

“At  the University of Alberta, student homelessness and food insecurity disproportionately impacts certain demographics on campuses such as LGBTQ2S+ and international students,” she says.

“Our campus food bank has seen a huge increase in clients, and we all believe our students shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from, or having a safe place to go home to at night.”

It’s not just university students who are under stress.  Those attending polytechnic and colleges in the province are also experiencing mental health challenges.

“Post-secondary education is a huge change in the lives for lots of students,” says Ryan Morstad, president of the SAIT Students’ Association.  “You may go to school in a new city; you have less structure with your classes; you’re meeting new friends, and you have to manage yourself and your budget.”

All  those can be in and of themselves stressful.  Then add in the fact that incidence of onset of mental illness is highest among 18- to 25-year olds,and it’s  easy to see why students might struggle without adequate support, he says.

Of course, managing costs of education are fuel to this fire.

“It’s just a whole bunch of things that are hitting you at the same time,” Morstad adds.

That just doesn’t include tuition.  It’s textbook costs, too – a top concern for SAIT students.  Indeed, American data suggest textbook costs increased by more than 800 per cent between 1978 and 2013.

“We find that students – if they buy all the textbooks for their courses – spend about $1,000 per semester”

What’s more, a recent study called the Hungry for Knowledge written by Meal Exchange, a national charity addressing food insecurity, found 50 per cent of surveyed students reported going without buying healthy food to pay for textbooks among other expenses.

“This is not something people like to talk about,”: Bhatnagar says, adding that the struggle students face isn’t an isolated problem.  “Students are having the same issues no matter what university or college they attend.”

(This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice).





These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice.

Revisions were applied to this post on June 19, 2016.

(Preface:  Every political party has introduced tax credits to give financial benefits to certain members of the population more than others.  However, during the reign of the Conservative party under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a plethora of tax credits were introduced.  This led to coining of the phrase ‘boutique tax credits’.  Much of the following information has been taken from the ‘Policy Forum: The Case Against Boutique Tax Credits and Similar Tax Expenditures by Neil Brooks’ (brooks).  The Neil Brooks discussion provides an excellent overview of why boutique tax credits are so wrong and discriminatory.  While many families, especially poor families do not benefit from boutique tax credits, ever singles also do not benefit from most of the tax credits.  If there are any negatives to the study it is that financial discriminatory impact of tax credits and expenditures for ever singles and to some extent single parent with children family units is not fully recognized).

The author of this blog has long thought that boutique tax credits are financially discriminatory to singles.  However, we cannot even begin to articulate what Neil Brooks has so eloquently stated in his article.  The entire article is worth a read including the footnotes which provide excellent information on many commentaries and studies of this topic.  For this post, we attempted to condense the PDF from 68 pages to 8 pages, for example, by eliminating the many footnotes – see condensed version at the end of this post.  Blog author’s comments have been highlighted in blue).

This has been a very difficult post to write in terms of length as there is so many excellent points that have been made by Neil Brooks in his study, so be forewarned that the condensed version of the Brook;s article is eight pages long).



Problem 1 – Conservative boutique tax credits purposely target traditional family values (single income families). Boutique Tax Credits initiated by the Progressive Conservative Party under Stephen Harper purposely target traditional family values. The party never gives a definition of traditional family values or who is included in the traditional family.  They talk about the family unit as ‘essential to the well-being  of individuals and society’.  A reflection of their belief in the importance of the role of the traditional family in society, another objective was to privilege single-earner families through the tax system (page 76).   (Blog author’s comments:  Ever singles are generally not included in these boutique tax credits).

Problem 2 -tax expenditures introduced by the Conservatives of Boutique Tax Credits were targeted at relatively narrowly defined groups of potential Conservative voters (page 67).  Finance Minister’s budget moved to put the finishing touches on building a new Conservative coalition through a series of tax cuts, rebates and other subsidies aimed at select segments of the voting population  (page 73).   By enacting these tax expenditures, as opposed to across-the-board tax cuts, the Conservatives were able, at a much lower cost, to favour middle-class families with children, middle-income and well-to-do seniors, and other much more narrowly targeted groups ( page 77).   (This is what this blog author calls ‘selective’ democratic socialism).

Problem 3 – Tax Credits and Expenditures ignore traditional tax criteria that apply to technical tax provisions, namely, equity, neutrality, and simplicity (page 69).

Problem 4 Conservatives were “pleasing their electoral base with . . . dollars in pockets for boutique programs rewarding wealth and socially conservative values  (page 69).  An example is pension splitting where wealthy married/coupled persons benefit the most, poor and married or coupled persons with equal incomes benefited to a lesser extent.(Blog author’s comment:  Ever singles and divorced/separated persons are not able to use this tax credit).

Problem 5Tax Expenditures Can Serve as a Bribe to Potential Voters (page 77)    By enacting these tax expenditures, as opposed to across-the-board tax cuts, the Conservatives were able, at a much lower cost, to favour middle-class families with children, middle-income and well-to-do seniors, and other much more narrowly targeted groups.

In 2011, the average taxpayer with an income between $100,000 and $150,000 paid $3,633 less in taxes.  The average taxpayer with a very modest income of between $20,000 and $25,000 saw only $475 back in the same period.  These numbers are before the impact of the new Family Tax Cut and the doubling of the Child Fitness Tax Credit – both of which are likely to accelerate the same trend.  (/canada2020).   (Blog author’s comment:  Poor families and ever singles including seniors are least likely to benefit (senior-singles-pay-more).

Problem 6 –  It is very difficult to get rid of tax expenditures or tax credits once they are  implemented.  Political parties are reluctant to eliminate them even if they are discriminatory for fear of losing votes.  Also, tax expenditures are extremely hard to repeal, even the truly awful ones, since eliminating a tax expenditure will be framed as a tax increase (page 78).   (Blog author’s comments:  Will it ever be possible to eliminate the pension splitting from which wealthy families benefit the most?  And, who is paying for this?)    Neil Brooks calls pension splitting an “outrageous pension income splitting scheme that should be repealed and the revenue used to enrich, or reduce the clawback, of the old age security pensions” (page 122).   Reducing clawback will not solve problem of inequality if clawback is not increased for singles and reduced for married or coupled persons through income-testing.

Problem 7 Tax expenditures that are relief measures transfer income from one group of individuals to another.  (Blog author’s comment:  Instead of these relief measures targeting lower income individuals and families, many have benefited wealthy families the most.  Ever singles benefit the least).

Problem 8Psychological impact of tax credits or expenditures (The Public Appears to Favour Policies Framed as Tax Breaks-page 83).  people’s psychological biases predispose them to favour tax expenditures, certainly over direct spending programs……label—tax relief versus direct outlay—matters.”  These studies are also consistent with other survey results in which respondents admit to have benefited from tax expenditures and yet deny ever having used a government social program.(Blog Author’s comments:  The reverse effects of Tax Credits and Expenditures are often not discussed, that is, the anger and financial despair that some citizens feel towards those that are receiving more of the benefits without, for example, application of income-testing  principles).

Problem 9 – Tax Expenditures Reduce the Political Pressure for Public Programs (page 84)  One of the Conservatives’ major political goals has been to resist the public provision of social programs. Hence, another explanation for the popularity of tax expenditures under the Conservatives is that they were a step forward in implementing a broader political project, a private-sector welfare state.Tax credits for private caregiving work reduce the political pressure for publicly provided long-term care facilities.. …. Supplementing the wages of low-income workers with a tax credit reduces the pressure to offer public service jobs to the unemployed…..The tax subsidization of tuition fees, textbooks, and interest on student loans reduces the political pressure for more direct government support for universities.

Problem 10 – Tax Expenditures Make the Tax System Less Transparent (page 94) and Tax Expenditures Divert the Resources of the CRA and Create Administrative Problems That Damage Its Reputation (page 94)

    • Complexity and number of tax credits make them very difficult to interpret and lawyers and accountants become intimately involved in their implementation.  As a result attention is directed towards interpretation of these credits instead of tracking abuse of the tax system.
    • Many are badly designed (page 96)
    • Tax Expenditures Often Do Not Serve Important Objectives of Government Policy (page 97)
    • Tax Expenditures Often Do Not Achieve Their Objectives Equitably (page 104)
    • upside-down effect of tax deductions
    • all tax credits should be refundable.

(Blog author’s comment:  Past posts have talked about upside-down financial effects (housing),  and tax credits should be refundable and income-tested.  To have someone else confirm these facts is reassuring.  It would be nice if political parties and governments also realized these facts.)

Problem 11 Education – Conservatives completely exempted certain scholarships and fellowships from tax in their first budget in 2006.  The exclusion of a $10,000 scholarship for a low-income student who has no other income provides that student with no implicit subsidy. However, the same exclusion will provide an implicit subsidy of $2,200 to a higher-income student in the 22 percent tax bracket. If the point of the exclusion was to benefit needy students, this upside-down effect is perverse (page 104)

Problem 12 – Low income individuals and families benefit the least.   A credit that can be offset against a taxpayer’s tax liability is of no value to a low-income person who has no tax liability because his or her income is less than the amount of the basic personal tax credit, for example. Hence, all tax credits should be refundable (page 106)…..In terms of delivering subsidies equitably through the tax system, if the primary purpose of a tax credit is to incentivize or assist low- or middle-income individuals, entitlement to the credit should be income-tested so that it vanishes when a taxpayer’s income reaches a certain amount (page 108).  Income-testing so that it vanishes when income reaches a certain amount should vanish quicker for for married or coupled persons than singles as it costs more for singles to live than married/coupled persons as a family unit.

Neil Brooks has also stated that analysis of  financial formulas such as distributional tables should show beneficiaries by income class, gender, household type, age cohort, and geographical region.  This is based on known facts that females and disadvantaged persons based on race likely benefit least from tax credits (page 111). (Blog author’s comments:  Analysis of household types is important as ever singles and early divorced singles are likely to benefit the least from all tax credits).

Problem 13 – The proliferation of tax expenditures, such as the boutique tax credits, gives rise to significant rent-seeking social costs. (page 114) and encourages relevant interest groups to lobby for analogous tax expenditures. (page 114).  (Blog author’s comments:  Powerful lobby groups such as families and seniors often lead to tax credits and expenditures targeting these groups.   Ever singles do not have this kind of financial and lobbying power.  As a result they are likely to receive less of these benefits).

Problem 14 – Boutique tax credits are useless when they target everyone in a group, for example, seniors.  Giving age credit to all seniors benefits wealthiest seniors more as poor seniors do not have enough income to apply tax credits (page 122).

Problem 15 – This problem as been added by the blog author, that is there is a compounding effect to tax credits when they are applied one on  top of another for specific groups.  An example is when child tax credits are given to married or coupled family unit, who then are also able to use pension splitting credits as seniors.  As a result, married or coupled persons with children are able to gain more wealth than ever singles who are not able to use any of these credits.

Problem 16 –  This problem has been added by the blog author,  that is the so called ‘merry go round credits and expenditures which disappear and reappear.  Some citizens can never  get on the merry go round because their place in line keep getting pushed back or they are kicked out of the line or they excluded from the lines.  For example, there are some parents who have never benefited from any the child tax credits because they had no children during implementation of some tax credits only to have these tax credits abolished when they do have children.


(Blog author’s comments: it would seem that a solution to the elimination of Tax Credits and Expenditures with fairness, equality, neutrality and simplicity for all, perhaps, should be to provide three government funded basic rights: healthcare, college/university education, and universal day care).


This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.



These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice.

Announcements from the  province for Fort McMurray Fire Emergency Assistance state each adult will receive $1250 and each child $500.

Singles and once again have been financially short changed.  Common sense, lowest common denominator critical thinking shows $1250 is not enough.  Amount for divorced or separated parent with children is also in question.

Amount for singles on month of expenses means they would get temporary assistance for $1300 one bedroom apartment rent, but have no money left for $250 food, gas or other necessities..  A divorced or separated parent  with two children would get $2250. Parent could rent two bedroom apartment, have money for food, but nothing left for gas and other necessities.   A married couple who at present time have no children would get $2500. They would possibly get temporary assistance for $1300 one bedroom apartment rent, $500 for food with some money left for  gas and other necessities.  A family with two children would receive $3500.  They could rent a two bedroom apartment, have $1000 for food and also have money left for gas and other necessities.

If singles follow married persons mantra that they can always go live with someone, two bedroom apartment rent would  put them on same financial level as married couple without children, but they would also face the additional psychological stress of not only the consequences of the fire, but also all the adjustments it takes to  live with a new person in new surroundings, etc.

Single parent with two children gets less financial assistance than married and coupled family unit without children.

This disaster will put additional stress on what is already an unaffordable housing market. Singles will face greater negative consequences of this disaster in housing  than families since landlords tend to rent to families before they rent to singles.

How many times can it be said that it costs more for singles to live than families?  Year after year, singles of all ages provide untold financial benefits to their country and families through taxes, volunteer efforts, etc., but never financially get back what they put into financial coffers.  Financial intelligence and fair financial formulation requires analysis to be based on not just a person to person  basis, but also what it costs each individual family unit to live (single, single parent and two parent family units). One family unit does not deserve more financial benefits than another in a disaster.  In a just, humane society singles and single parent families deserve same financial, psychological and social dignity and respect in emergency situations as married and coupled persons and families.

This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.



These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice.

A past post (to-rent-or-own) on this blog discussed rental versus affordable housing for singles.  The final conclusion of this post was that it is more difficult to do either rental or home purchases for singles than it is for married/coupled persons.

Financial management persons will say that it is much cheaper to rent than to own and that one should probably rent if there are financial constraints.  The advice is good from a financial point of view; however, the impact of this advice does not take into account the psychological well-being of singles.

Rental housing often means that singles have to choose second best to married/coupled persons and families.  Financial constraints often means rental properties singles have to choose from will be located in noisy, high traffic areas with no views except a retail space or another apartment across the way.  As well, there may often be a lot of noise between units.  There may not always be a washer and dryer within the apartment.  This means renters may have to  go down the hall, down several floors or even outside the building to laundry facilities.  Coin-operated laundry within or outside the building are very expensive and inconvenient.

Rental  housing for singles often means small apartments with small or no balconies. Meanwhile, the average size house in Canada is approximately 1900 square feet  and growing and it seems buyers’ expectations are very high.  They want for starters granite countertops, gourmet kitchens, a bedroom for each child, more than one bathroom, a playroom for the kids, a media room for the family and a large patio and yard for the barbecue as well as a basement and a garage in a choice location.  As has been explained in a past post, families buying these houses will often pay less per square foot than singles will for their smaller housing purchases.  In addition to the physical aspects, families will probably get much more for their house in psychological  satisfaction and well-being than singles will with their small spaces.

Rental in senior year for singles and the poor often means very little is left for a good financial quality of life after the rent has been paid.

Families and financial planners need to look on the other side of fence as to how all this impacts singles.  Singles need pleasant surroundings, the ability to make choices in what appeals to them, and affordable housing, just like married/coupled persons and families. Somehow, the perception by society is that because singles are single, they need and deserve less than married/coupled persons and families for housing.

Rather than telling singles and the poor that rental is the only option for them, upside-down financing for housing where families and those with the ability to pay get more and pay less for housing (upside-down-affordable-housing) needs to change.

Affordable housing for singles, poor families and the homeless is becoming more and more difficult to achieve in many countries including Canada.  Outside the box thinking where singles are included in housing solutions, not just families, needs to be addressed for the psychological well-being of all persons regardless of marital status and income levels.

This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.



(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice.)

On January 18, 2016, an opinion letter entitled “Culture Clash” was published in the Calgary Herald by a couple profiling single migrant men.  The letter has been reproduced here in its entirety. The response by the author of this blog published in the Calgary Herald has also been reproduced here.  The name of the opinion letter was changed by the Calgary Herald editors to “Nothing wrong with being single”.

Today on the program “The Social” (a Canadian social commentary program) a statement was made in one of their commentaries that single white men are the cause of many terrorist activities, for example, Timothy McVeigh.

This post is not of a financial nature, but is entered here over deep concern for negative profiling of singles.


Re:  Angela Merkel says Germany has lost control of the refugee crisis and public anger over Cologne sex attacks

My wife is from Germany and keeps in contact with family there who live in a small village near Stuttgart, where the German government has housed some 60 single migrant men, all under the age of 40, in an unused grocery store.

These folks have daughters in their early 20s who no longer feel safe going out at night or using the trains due to these men’s constant leering and gesturing.  Recently, a teenage niece was confronted in her grandmother’s backyard by three men who tried to prevent her from getting back into the house, first asking for money and then: ‘ Do you like Hitler?’ Not up on current events, apparently.

So far, our federal government deserves full credit for allowing in only vetted immigrant families, but my concern is with their overly ambitious quotas and deadlines, they may open it to single men as Germany and other European countries did.  In that case, it’s not inconceivable that what happened in Cologne and other cities in Cologne and other cities on New Year’s Eve could one day come to a big public event here, as soon as July perhaps.  (Authored by couple from Calgary).


January 18, 2016 letter “Culture Clash” by the (name not published here) is disturbing. This letter is profiling all migrant single men as disgusting human beings.

How did these single men get this way except to be taught this by men including fathers and a society that has no respect for human dignity?

To change behavior, how about talking to them about respect, first of all, for themselves and then respect for women?

Singles are fed up with being negatively profiled and told they are worth less than married people.  They are told they are spendthrifts, don’t behave properly, but when they marry they suddenly become decent human beings.

Marital status and being male does not define social intelligence.  Rather what you have been taught and your moral values define who you are.  Married people, parents and fathers should look to themselves when they profile single men as being societal failures.


So, in just two instances single migrant men and single white men have been negatively profiled as being bad people.  This is a pretty big number of the total single men population. Such profiling also has a negative effect on the psychological well-being of singles.

When are married/coupled persons and families (including race) going to ‘get over themselves’ in thinking that they are the only ones who are able to have cultural and social intelligence?

Marital status does not mean married/coupled persons and families are going to behave any better than singles.  Look to examples where Canadian immigrant parents have killed their daughters because of clashing religious ideals, the atrocities committed by men in India, both single and married, against multiple raping of females, and family members killing each other or committing crimes against each other.

To  stop negative profiling and financial discrimination of singles, marital status needs to be eliminated in the equal treatment of all human beings regardless of race and sex.

This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.



These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author and are not intended to be used as personal or financial advice.

As stated in Part 1 and 2 of this series, one example of financial unfairness is condos presently being developed in Calgary by a developer including 1 bed, 1 bath, 1 patio micro-condo of 552 sq. ft. with starting price of $299,900. Two patio, 2 bed, 2 full bath, 2 story 1232 sq. ft. condos were already sold out so price not available. Then there are 2 patio, 3 bed, 2.5 bath, 2 and 3 story 1830 sq. ft. condos priced from $649,900 to $749,900. Apparently, ultra-deluxe model has master bedroom suite covering entire third 600 sq. ft. floor. The third floor bedroom is bigger than total square footage of $299,900 condo. When price per square foot is calculated, micro-condo is selling for $543 per sq. ft. while three bed condos are selling from $355 to $409 per sq. ft.

Average square footage of Canadian house is 1950 sq. ft. (2010) so how can a developer socially, morally and ethically justify charging $150 to $200 more per square foot for two-thirds less space? “CREB now” http://www.crebnow.com/, Aug. 28 to Sept. 3, 2015, page A5, talks about Calgary developer selling 440 sq. ft. condos in north inner city tower for $149,000 ($339 per sq. ft.) in 2012 and 440 sq. ft. condos in south inner city tower for $219,000 ($498 per sq. ft.) in 2015. Two and three hundred sq. ft. condos are now being sold in Vancouver and Toronto for around $250,000 ($1250 and $833 per sq. ft. respectively). Salaries for low income and singles has not risen to same level, nor has Canadian housing for the middle class and rich ($400,000 and up (except perhaps in Vancouver).

So who is more likely to buy micro-condos? Possibly low income couples, single parent with one child, or environmentally conscious, and probably an individual/single person. Who gets to pay $150 to $200 more per square foot for two-thirds less space? Ripple effects are owners of micro-condos have to proportionately pay more house taxes, education taxes, mortgage interest and real estate fees on less house and less take home pay for biggest lifetime expense. When it is sold, will seller recoup buying price?

To further magnify the issue, lottery in major northern Alberta city has first grand lottery prize of $2,092,000 for 6,490 sq. ft. house ($322 per sq. ft.), second grand prize of $1,636,000 for 5,103 sq. ft. house ($321 per sq. ft.), and third grand prize of $1,558,000 for 5,097 sq. ft. house ($306 per sq. ft.). First house has elevator, games/theatre area, kid’s lounge, gym, and music room. Second house has hockey arena with bleacher seating, lounge and bar. Third house has spa, gym, yoga studio, juice bar and media room. Need anything more be said about the rich? They always get more while paying less and acquiring choicest spots.

As stated in a recent real estate article, Watermark, a deluxe complex in Calgary is selling an ‘inspired’ (so stated in article) 8,644 sq. ft. estate home and its guest house for $3.45 million or $399 per square foot which is less per square feet than 600 square foot condo mentioned above. Article goes on to say that beyond homes, Watermark garners interest with both natural and man-made beauty. It has 17 cascading ponds and more than five kilometers of interconnected walking and bike trails. Then there’s the central plaza with its 1,000 sq. ft. pavilion, kitchen, barbecues, a sports field and NBA-sized basketball court. One family’s daughter is looking forward to booking the plaza and using the outdoor kitchen for her birthday party. The family goes on to state that space between homes and low density was also very important so they weren’t looking into someone’s back yard. This same complex has a show home with 17 sinks.

Another real estate article talks about another family with three children moving from 1900 sq. ft. house to a 2,837 sq. ft. house with price starting from $900,000s. They are moving because they need more room for the kids as they grow. Their new house will provide 567 sq. ft. per person at a starting price of approximately $317 per sq. ft. Yet again other articles state that owners are happy they don’t have condos in their back yard and their children can experience nature from their own bedrooms.

Further advice usually given by married people states singles can live with someone else if they can’t afford housing when they are already living in studio, one bedroom apartments, and basement suites. Senior singles who have lived productive lives while contributing to their country want and deserve their own privacy and bathroom. Many senior assisted living dwellings have in recent years built more spaces for singles who with one income pay more for that space than married/coupled persons. Just how long should shared arrangements go on for (entire lives?) instead of correcting underlying financial issues?

Following examples show dignity and respect for singles (and low income families). Attainable Housing http://www.attainyourhome.com/, Calgary, allows maximum household income of $90,000 for single and dual/parent families with dependent children living in the home and maximum household income of $80,000 for singles and couples with no dependent children living in the home. Living Wage for Guelph and Wellington livingwagecanada allows singles dignity of one bedroom apartment and a living wage income that is 44% of a family of 4 income and 62% of a family of two (parent and child).

While singles are living in their small spaces (average size of new studio, one bed and one bed/den new condo combined being built in Toronto is 697 sq. feet), majority of Canadian married/coupled people and families are living in average 1950 sq. foot houses (2010) with large gourmet kitchens, multiple bathrooms, bedrooms for each child and guests, basement, garage, yard, and nice patio with barbecue, etc.


For a 700 square foot condo where price is $50 more per square foot than lowest price of largest condo in complex, it can be assumed that the purchaser will be paying $35,000 more than purchaser’s base price of largest condo, if the price per square foot is $100 more per square foot then purchaser will be paying be paying $70,000 more, if the price per square foot is $150 more per square foot then purchaser will be paying $105,000 more and so on. The amount of house and education taxes, real estate fees and mortgage interest will also incrementally increase.

Our Lost Dollar Value List is still a work in progress, but when lost dollar value for real estate is added to the list, $50 will be used as the example as well as gestimate loss for taxes and real estate fees, interest charges based on $50.00 per sq. ft.


There seems to be very little understanding of the psychological impact that decision makers and policy makers have on singles regarding housing.

Many families live in houses where their young children have separate bedrooms, and likewise, there is a trend towards ‘man caves’ and ‘she sheds’ so family members can have ‘alone’ time, but when children become single adults, singles are consistently told that they can live with someone if they have financial problems with housing while paying more.

And, of course, singles never have claustrophobia, so it is okay to stick them in small spaces for which they have to pay more. And singles never have problems with noise, so it is okay for them to live in small units in less desirable areas close to airports and railway tracks, etc. (As one single person moving from one unit to another stated in a real estate article “I was very impressed with the pricing and the fact that they’re doing concrete floors and walls “. Concrete is said to restrict noise. “I work on Saturday mornings and a lot of people like to stay up a little later on Friday and Saturday nights”. With thinner walls, he adds, it is easier to hear “people in the hallways coming and going. It is not the end of the end of the world, by any means, but I am looking forward to something quieter above and below”. But for this person, the decision was less about sound and more about getting something larger, with better specifications and closer to work-moving from 615 sq. ft. two bedroom condo to 715 sq. ft. two bedroom condo. “The bedrooms are a little bit bigger with an ensuite. I really liked that and I liked the fact that it has a washer and dryer so I don’t have to go to the laundromat.”

Singles deserve same standard of living as married/coupled persons, i.e. having washer and dryer in their own home instead of  having to go  down a dark hall or to basement to do laundry or paying  per load at a laundromat.

When reading or listening to articles on housing for families, families will always talk about how important their housing is for them in regards to creating memories for their children, entertaining and maintaining close ties to friends and families, but apparently adult singles don’t have friends and families, so it is okay for them to live in micro condos, some as small as 200 square feet, where it is pretty much impossible to entertain or have friends and families stay with them.


Singles and low income persons need to become more aware of financial unfairness by taking pricing down to the lowest common denominator, i.e. price per square foot and speak out about the financial atrocities being directed towards them. They need to start questioning why they are being targeted to pay more while getting less.  (While it is recognized that it is expensive to raise children, adult to adult it is also unfair to make one segment of the population like singles and the disadvantaged pay more than another segment).

The blog posted here is of a general nature about financial discrimination of singles. It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.