Affordable Housing Survey Highlights Canadians’ Concern
A new poll finds Canadians rank affordable housing as one of the top issues facing the country, with limited supply, inflation and discrimination worsening sentiment.
The data, released by Habitat for Humanity Canada, unveils the prospect of home ownership, the lack of housing supply and the rising cost of living.
“This survey underscores how deeply concerned Canadians are about their housing situation and future, as affordable housing becomes increasingly out of reach,” said Julia Deans, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada, in a press release. « To address these growing concerns and make affordable housing and home ownership a reality for all Canadians, we need a comprehensive approach from nonprofits, businesses, individuals and from all levels of government.
The vast majority of Canadians surveyed (96%) say their own cost of living has increased over the past year, and 78% say they need to limit their spending budget for food, transportation and reimbursement of their debts.
Among landlords and renters, 40% of Canadians surveyed say they are concerned about paying off their mortgage or rent in the next year, and a quarter (27%) feel generally pessimistic about the country’s housing problems .
The survey results also broke down different perspectives based on age demographics. Gen Z and millennials, for example, are more than twice as likely to be concerned about paying their rent or mortgage as baby boomers. Canadians aged 26-34 (Millennials) were found to be the most pessimistic about housing sentiment – more so than Gen Zers, Gen Xers and Boomers.
The results also suggest that the lack of housing supply is the biggest factor of concern when it comes to the affordability crisis, with 90% of Canadians surveyed believing that the shortage of affordable housing is the main problem.
But the results indicate that another problem is adding to the crisis: discrimination.
The survey indicates that one in 10 potential buyers or tenants have faced racism, sexism or various forms of discrimination when looking for a home. According to the results, BIPOC Canadians were more than twice as likely (18%) as non-BIPOC Canadians (8%) to have experienced some degree of discrimination when considering housing options.
Some discriminations, according to the results, are rooted in an acronym: “NIMBY”. It stands for “Not In My Back Yard” – a term deployed for neighborhoods that reject the development of affordable units in their area.
The survey says more than half of Canadians (54%) believe that NIMBYism is the biggest barrier to increasing the supply of affordable housing. Seventy-one percent of Canadians agree with the statement that “people are concerned about the impact of affordable housing on their property value and on their neighborhood,” the survey says.
Despite this soured feeling, Deans thinks there’s still reason for hope.
“In our work, we see firsthand how access to stable housing transforms the future and fosters resilience across generations,” Deans said. “We must act now, and we must act together to remove systemic barriers and create lasting solutions to achieve affordable housing for all.