Skip to content

Housing shortage worse in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba: report

Toronto –

A new report from Scotiabank has revealed that Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba are the provinces facing the biggest housing shortage in Canada.

The report, which was released on Wednesday, said those provinces were the only ones to have fewer homes per capita than the national average, which stands at 425 homes per 1,000 residents.

The housing shortage is particularly striking in Ontario, given the size of the province. The report says Ontario would need more than 650,000 units to meet the national average of housing per capita. Alberta would need 138,000 units while the difference in Manitoba is 23,000 units.

“This is not to say that the housing stock in other provinces is adequate … but it does suggest that some provinces may have enabled supply to meet needs better than others,” the report said.

The per capita housing supply in Saskatchewan and British Columbia hovered around the national average, while Quebec and all of the Atlantic provinces had significantly more dwellings than the Canadian average.

The supply of housing in Newfoundland and Labrador was particularly high. Not only was it higher than all the other provinces, it was also the only province to exceed the G7 average of 480 units per 1,000 population. The report says this was because the province experienced a population decline as the number of homes continued to rise.

Last year, another report from Scotiabank found that adjusted population, Canada had the lowest housing supply among the G7 countries. Canada would need 1.8 million more households to have the same number of households per capita as the G7 average.

However, the report says there are “reasons for optimism” as new residential construction increased in 2021 and is above pre-pandemic levels.

“Despite these encouraging signs, we remain of the view that the shortage of housing relative to the needs of the population will continue to exert upward pressure on prices and rents and reduce affordability,” the report states.

In last year’s federal election, the Liberals promised to build, preserve or repair 1.4 million new homes over the next four years. The Liberal government announced last month that it would seek public input on its proposed Housing Acceleration Fund, which would allocate $ 4 billion to support municipalities that are increasing housing supply and densification in order to build 100,000 new homes.

Ontario also launched the Housing Affordability Task Force in December, which was tasked with finding solutions on how to increase the supply of rental and owned housing at market rates.