“Housing needs” dial hasn’t budged in ten years
November 21, 2017
Ten years of near record-high housing starts and expanded social housing programs have failed to move the dial on the number of Canadians who are in need of proper, affordable housing, according to data from the 2016 census compiled by Statistics Canada.
In 2016, the rate of core housing need in Canada stood at 12.7 per cent, representing 1.7 million households, the same as in 2006.
“Between 2011 and 2016, housing conditions have worsened in the Prairies region and in Ontario, and improved in Quebec, British Columbia and in most of the Atlantic region,” said Benjamin Williams, director, housing indicators and analytics for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
While those in core housing need—due to unsuitable quality or lack of affordability—remained the highest in Nunavut at 36.5 per cent, it also increased in Canada’s richest province.
“The proportion of Ontario households with unacceptable housing has significantly increased; close to 1 in 7 households were in core housing need in 2016, an increase of 130,000 households compared to 2011, reaching 15.3 per cent,” Williams said. Toronto has one in five households in core need, the highest of any major Canadian city.
Despite some improvement, the core housing need rate in British Columbia remained one of the highest in Canada, at 14.9 per cent, the census data shows.
The situation for Quebec households improved by the largest proportion, bringing the overall rate to a historical low of 9.0 per cent, an absolute reduction of more than 40,000 households compared to 2011, Williams said.