Habitat for Humanity releases Affordable Housing Survey

Habitat for Humanity Canada has released the Affordable Housing Survey which reveals Canadian’s attitudes towards the affordable housing crisis across the country.

According to the Habitat Canada Affordable Housing Survey, four-in-five Ontarians (82 per cent) are worried about having to spend less on food, savings, transportation costs, and/or debt payments to continue to afford their current housing and almost all Ontarians (92%) agree that the goal of homeownership is becoming more difficult to achieve.

The new survey released Nov. 9th by Habitat for Humanity Canada finds Canadians rank affordable housing as the third most important issue facing Canada today, behind inflation and healthcare. The Habitat for Humanity Canada Affordable Housing Survey, which measured the perceptions of Canadians, also sheds light on growing concerns and barriers to homeownership including lack of housing supply, increased cost of living, discrimination, NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) sentiment and more.

“This survey underscores how deeply concerned Canadians are about their housing situations and futures as affordable housing becomes increasingly out of reach,” says 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, corporate partners, individuals and all levels of government.”

According to the Habitat Canada Affordable Housing Survey, almost all Canadians (96 per cent) surveyed said their cost of living has increased this past year and four-in-five Canadians (78 per cent) are worried about having to spend less on food, savings, transportation costs, and/or debt payments to continue to afford their current housing. Other key concerns include:

● Forty per cent of Canadians are concerned about paying their mortgage or rent over the next 12 months
● Gen Zs (51 per cent) and Millennials (52 per cent) are more than twice as likely to be concerned about paying their rent or mortgage than Boomers (23 per cent)
● Almost three in ten Canadians (28 per cent) cannot currently afford a down payment of any amount towards a home
● One-quarter of Canadians (27 per cent) are feeling pessimistic about whether or not much can be done to deal with Canada’s housing problems, and Millennials – those aged 26 to 41, are the most pessimistic (34 per cent) compared to Gen Zers, Gen Xers and Boomers

Lack of housing supply is seen as the greatest contributor to current affordability crisis: Nine-in-ten Canadians (90 per cent) believe that there is a shortage of affordable housing in Canada and four-in-ten (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).

NIMBY and discrimination: additional barriers to affordable housing: Half of Canadians (54 per cent) feel that NIMBY sentiment is one of the main barriers to making affordable housing available in neighborhoods. Interestingly, 71 per cent of Canadians agree with the statement that ‘people worry about the impact of affordable housing on their property values and neighborhood’.

Discrimination was also found to be a barrier to accessing affordable housing according to the survey. One-in-ten Canadians (11 per cent) have experienced racism, sexism, and/or other discrimination during their pursuit of housing, with BIPOC Canadians being more than twice as likely as non-BIPOC Canadians to have experienced discrimination (18 per cent vs. 8 per cent).

Canadians want an affordable place to call home: Three-quarters of Canadians (75 per cent) believe that more affordable housing could solve the social issues we’re currently facing as a country, and despite the growing concerns and barriers to homeownership, the majority of Canadians (87 per cent) agree that owning a home can create more stability in one’s life. Furthermore, 60 per cent of Canadians surveyed agree that homeownership can improve educational opportunities for themselves and their families and 73 per cent agree that homeownership can strengthen ties to their community.

“In our work, we see firsthand how access to stable housing transforms futures and fosters resiliency across generations,” says 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.”

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

About the survey:  Habitat for Humanity Canada commissioned Leger’s online panel to survey 1501 Canadians between September 7th and September 17th, 2022. A probability sample of 1501 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.5%, 19 times out of 2.

About Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce:  People in our community and all over the world partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and purchase their home with a no-down payment, no-interest mortgage with payments set at 25% of their income. Not only does this provide affordable housing for families in need, it also enables them to build assets, reduce their dependence on other forms of social assistance and contribute to the community through paying property taxes.

As an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Canada, Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce has served 111 adults and 169 children since 1987. With our help, Habitat homeowners are given the opportunity to thrive, enabling them to build a better life for themselves and their children.

About Habitat for Humanity Canada:  Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national charitable organization working toward a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers, Habitat homeowners and 48 local Habitats working in every province and territory, we provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world. Habitat for Humanity Canada is a member of Habitat for Humanity International, which was established in 1976 and has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.habitat.ca and follow on social @HabitatCanada.

About Leger:  Leger is the largest Canadian-owned market research and analytics company, with more than 600 employees in eight Canadian and US offices. Leger has been working with prestigious clients since 1986.

To learn more about how you can help create a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live, visit habitatgreybruce.ca.