A third of Canadians fear not meeting housing expenses due to COVID-19

Survey also says more than 40% lost their jobs or live with someone who has

A third of Canadians fear not meeting housing expenses due to COVID-19

Canadians are beginning to feel the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their finances, a recent survey commissioned by the Angus Reid Institute revealed.

More than a third or 34% of respondents expressed concern about missing a rent or mortgage payment this month due to the pandemic, which has caused widespread unemployment and a drastic reduction of paid work for those fortunate enough to have kept their jobs.

Read more: Canadian household budgets are now in danger of rapid depletion

Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they had either been laid-off themselves since the crisis started or live with someone who has. About a fifth are worried that they will lose work in the coming days or weeks.

For those who are currently employed, more than half expect their hours to get cut inevitably.

The firm conducted the online survey from March 20 to 23 using "a representative randomized sample of 1,664 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum." The sample of that size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points or 19 times out of 20, it said.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFID), businesses are cutting back due to quarantines and the “corresponding drastic reduction in demand for products and services.” The agency also warned that a third of the country’s small businesses are in danger of closing in the next few weeks without government intervention.

"More than half of small firms have begun laying off staff, with a quarter reporting they have already been forced to lay off their entire workforce," CFIB president Dan Kelly said in an interview with CBC News. “That number is likely to increase in the coming weeks as many small businesses will be forced to make additional layoff decisions in the next few days."