StatCan: Suitable housing still in short supply

A substantial share of Canadian homes is "not suitable" for the number of their occupants

StatCan: Suitable housing still in short supply

More than 805,000 homes nationwide can be considered “not suitable” for the number of their occupants, according to Statistics Canada.

Nearly 1.5 million Canadian households were also living “in core housing”, defined by the national statistics agency as “living in an unsuitable, inadequate. or unaffordable dwelling and not able to afford alternative housing in their community.”

Still, Canada’s core housing need rate declined from 12.7% in 2016 to 10.1% in 2021, mainly due to improvements in household incomes and housing affordability.

“Proportionately fewer homeowners were in core housing need compared with unaffordable housing, because they generally had higher incomes and could afford the regional market rent of a home that met their needs,” StatCan said.

The core housing need rate for homeowners (5.3%) was an estimated one-third the unaffordable housing rate (14.8%). On the other hand, the core housing need rate for renters (20%) was nearly two-thirds the rate of unaffordable housing (33.2%), StatCan said.

Read more: How many Canadians still prefer to own homes rather than rent?

Across Canada’s urban markets, renters were found to be more likely in core housing need compared to owners. This was particularly apparent in Montreal, with the core housing need rate at 14.6% for renters and 2.4% for homeowners.

Other markets with substantial disparities in renter-owner core housing need rates were Toronto (28.7% vs. 9.6%) and Vancouver (27.2% vs. 10.9%), StatCan said.

In contrast, “Quebec has a rent control policy that governs the amount landlords can increase rents,” StatCan reported. “This is a contributing factor to the CMAs in Quebec having among the lowest rates of core housing need nationally despite a median household income that is lower than that in Ontario, British Columbia, and the Prairies.”