Brampton has seen an incredible amount of growth in the last decade and as a result, the cost of living has risen, too.

According to statistics from Numbeo, with the exception of rent, the cost of living in Brampton is 9.6 per cent higher than it is in Toronto. Even so, Bramptonians are feeling the financial pinch as rent continues to increase year after year.

The Rental Fairness Act recently passed by the provincial government caused many renters to sigh with relief. It expands rent control to all private rental units in Ontario, including those built after 1991. The increase will now be capped; this year it’s at 1.5 per cent.

So how much have rents gone up in Brampton over the last few years? Based on information provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), rental rates have increased approximately 40 per cent on average over the last 20 years.

Between 1996 and 2001, there was about a 21 per cent average increase. The average rent went from $832 in ’96 all the way up to $1,010 just five years later.

The average increase between 2001 and 2006 was just a scant $2 per month. Those were housing boom years before the crash in 2008, so naturally, the market was flat in that period.

Average rental costs went up a more modest $80 per month between 2006 and 2011 as the markets rebalanced themselves.

Unfortunately, renters have had it harder than ever the last five years. Rents have risen a whopping 22 per cent from 2011 to 2016, which makes average rent costs in the city about $1,243 as of last fall.

Source: CMHC Rental Market Report

Since The Rental Fairness Act is fairly new, it hasn’t yet impacted the cost of rent and only time will tell if it has any impact at all. There are some promising aspects of the Act that certainly seem like they will have a real impact for renters.

According to the Act, landlords will no longer be able to increase rent based on an extraordinary increase in the cost of utilities, which might go a long way to providing some relief for those dealing with the ever-increasing cost of living.