Canada's core housing need is stable says CMHC

The share of Canada’s population that is not able to access acceptable housing has remained stable over the past decade.

Data from CMHC and Statistics Canada reveals that 1.7 million Canadian households were in core housing need in 2016, amounting to 12.7%, around the same as in 2006.

“While the proportion of Canadian households living in core housing need has remained stable over the last ten years, different trends exist among provinces and territories,” said Benjamin Williams, Director, Housing Indicators and Analytics. “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. Core housing need was prevalent in the territories; the rate in Nunavut remained the highest in the country at 36.5%.”

The need is higher in Ontario which accounts for all of the CMAs with the highest core housing except for Vancouver and Victoria.  1 in 7 of Ontario’s households were in core housing need last year, up 130,000 from 2011 with the share reaching 15.3%. In Toronto the rate in 2016 was 1 in 5 households.

Vancouver’s share was 14.9% in 2016 although that was a decrease from 2011.

Rising shelter costs have contributed to a rise in core housing need in all provinces with an increase except for Alberta according to census data.

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