Habitat for Humanity survey reveals housing affordability as a top concern for Canadians

A new survey by Habitat for Humanity Canada released Nov. 10 found that Canadians ranked affordable housing as the third most important issue facing Canada today, after inflation and health care.

Habitat for Humanity Canada’s Affordable Housing Survey measures Canadians’ perceptions and reveals growing concerns and barriers to home buying, including inadequate housing supply, increased cost of living, discrimination, NIMBY (not in my backyard) Emotions, etc.

“This survey highlights how worried 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. Addressing these growing problems and making affordable housing and homeownership a reality for all Canadians requires the full cooperation of nonprofits, corporate partners, individuals and all levels of government.”

According to the Canadian Habitat Affordable Housing Survey, nearly all Canadians surveyed (96%) say their cost of living has increased over the past year, and four in five Canadians (78%) are concerned about having to Reduce spending on food, savings, transportation and/or debt payments to continue to afford their current housing. Other key issues include:

• 40% of Canadians are concerned about paying their mortgage or rent in the next 12 months

• Gen Z (51%) and Millennials (52%) are more than twice as likely to worry about paying rent or mortgages than Baby Boomers (23%)

• Nearly 3 in 10 Canadians (28%) are currently unable to make any down payment on a home

Inadequate housing supply seen as biggest cause of current affordability crisis

90% of Canadians (90%) believe there is a shortage of affordable housing in Canada, with 43% citing a lack of housing supply as one of the biggest reasons for lower housing prices, ahead of foreign buyers (40%) and investment firms buying homes (36%).

NIMBY and discrimination: additional barriers to affordable housing

Half of Canadians (54%) cite NIMBY sentiment as one of the main barriers to providing affordable housing in the community. Additionally, 71% of Canadians agree with the statement that “people are concerned about the impact of affordable housing on their property values ​​and communities.”

The survey also found that discrimination is a barrier to access to affordable housing. One in 10 Canadians (11%) have experienced racism, sexism and/or other discrimination while seeking housing, and BIPOC Canadians are more than twice as likely to experience discrimination as non-BIPOC Canadians (18% vs. .8 percent).

Canadians want an affordable place to call home

Three-quarters of Canadians and 82% of British Columbians believe that more affordable housing can solve the social problems we face as a nation right now. Despite growing concerns and barriers to homeownership, a majority of Canadians (87%) agree that homeownership can bring more stability to one’s life. Additionally, 82% of British Columbians surveyed agree that home ownership can lead to a better future for their children, and 80% agree that home ownership strengthens bonds with the community.

For more information on the survey, please visit habitat.ca/housingsurvey.

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