Government Relations

Canada’s Affordable Housing Crunch

A red-roof house with a cloud of smoke in the shape of a question mark

As real estate professionals, REALTORS® know that home ownership offers many important social and economic benefits to our communities. We also know that housing is a continuum.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities, has launched a campaign entitled, “Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch”. According to their website, “High home prices and record levels of household debt are pricing a growing number of Canadians out of homeownership, which places mounting pressure on an already crowded rental market and on crumbling affordable housing units”. The Bank of Canada has referred to this growing issue as the number one domestic risk facing the economy.

According to FCM’s provincial statistics, the average cost of owning a home in Ontario has risen 37% since 2001, and over 152,300 families and individuals are on the waiting list for affordable housing. Nationally, 1 in 4 Canadians spend more than 30% of their income on shelter. This exceeds what would be considered “affordable”. Furthermore, 1 out of every 3 Canadians rent, but rental housing only makes up 10% of all new housing starts.

Over the next twenty years $1.7 billion in annual federal affordable housing investments are set to expire, with the biggest drop of $500 million scheduled to take place over the next five years. This will put an additional 200,000 Canadian households at risk of losing their homes. The loss of funding will leave the province and municipalities scrambling to fill the void.

Currently, Canada does not have a national housing strategy; however, the federal government is involved in affordable housing through CMHC and related ministries. Affordable housing is an issue that touches all Canadians and requires the commitment of all levels of government to address.

OREA applauds the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ campaign initiative, and the work of many local boards with respect to this matter including LSTAR and TREB.

Click here for more information on Canada’s housing crunch.

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