Housing affordability a top concern for Canadians
By Adam FreillConstruction Residential
Survey findings reveal 40 per cent of Canadians are concerned about paying their mortgage or rent over the next 12 months.
Canadians rank affordable housing as the third most important issue facing Canada today, behind inflation and healthcare. That was one of the key findings of the recently released Habitat for Humanity Canada Affordable Housing Survey, which set out to shed light on growing concerns surrounding housing.
“This survey underscores how deeply concerned Canadians are about their housing situations and futures as affordable housing becomes increasingly out of reach,” stated Julia Deans, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. “To address these growing concerns and make affordable housing and homeownership a reality for all Canadians, we need an all-in approach from non-profits, businesses, individuals and all levels of government.”
According to the survey, almost all Canadians, 96 per cent, in fact, said their cost of living has increased this past year. Four-in-five are worried about having to spend less on food, savings, transportation costs, and/or debt payments to continue to afford their current housing.
Some forty per cent of Canadians are concerned about paying their mortgage or rent over the next 12 months, and almost 30 per cent said they cannot afford a down payment of any amount towards a home at this time.
A quarter of Canadians are also feeling pessimistic about whether much can be done to deal with Canada’s housing problems. Millennials – those aged 26 to 41 – are the most pessimistic of the demographic groups cited in the survey.
Ninety per cent of Canadians believe that there is a shortage of affordable housing in Canada, and 43 per cent see lack of housing supply as one of the greatest contributors to making housing less affordable, ahead of foreign buyers (40 per cent), and investment firms buying homes (36 per cent).
Three-quarters of Canadians surveyed believe that more affordable housing could solve the social issues we are currently facing as a country, and despite the growing concerns and barriers to homeownership, the majority (87 per cent) agreed that owning a home can create more stability in one’s life. Furthermore, 60 per cent also agreed that homeownership can improve educational opportunities for themselves and their families.
“In our work, we see firsthand how access to stable housing transforms futures and fosters resiliency across generations,” added Deans. “We must act now, and we must act together towards addressing the systemic barriers and creating sustainable solutions to achieve affordable housing for all.”