Vancouverites, Women and Single Parents in Greatest Housing Need: CMHC

Vancouver and BC fare predictably badly in affordability assessment in CMHC’s 12th annual Canadian Housing Observer report

November 21, 2014

Single parent Vancouver

British Columbia was the province with the highest incidence of core housing need in 2011, at 15.4 per cent of all households, according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s 2014 Canadian Housing Observer annual report, released November 20.

Vancouver was identified as the Census Metropolitan Area with the highest core housing need (at 17.7 per cent) followed by Toronto (16.9 per cent).

A household is described as in core housing need when it would have to spend 30 per cent or more of gross household income to access housing that is deemed adequate and suitable for that household by CMHC’s given standards.

The CMHC said the incidence of core housing need across Canada fell to 12.5 per cent of all households in 2011, down from 13.7 per cent in 2001.

Female single-person households were the highest represented group in core housing need across Canada, at 23.5 per cent in 2011, above male one-person households, which were still high at 19.3 per cent.

CMHC added that single-person households are the "fastest-growing housing type," and that they had nearly equalled couples with children, the slowest-growing household type.

Nearly 29 per cent of female single-parent households were in core housing need in 2011. That was still well above the number for male single-parent households, at 16.5 per cent.

The publication, which looks at big-picture trends and issues in housing across Canada, also reported that seniors, immigrants and Aboriginal people continued to be important influences on housing demand.

It added that rising immigration was fuelling housing demand, and that although most new immigrants rent their homes initially, homeownership rates among immigrant households increase rapidly in the years following their arrival.

To download a free copy of the full report, go to the CMHC’s website here.

Joannah Connolly has been editor and content manager of since May 2014. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, and has moderated and spoken on several industry panels. During this time, she also spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 20 years of journalism experience in Vancouver and London, with a prior background in construction, architecture and business media.
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