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Affordable Housing

Action on Canada’s housing crisis

Everyone needs a decent roof over their head. Safe, affordable housing makes our cities and communities welcoming places to live, work and start a business. It's also integral to retaining workers and attracting newcomers to enrich our neighbourhoods and drive tomorrow's economic growth.

Yet there are serious cracks in Canada's housing foundation. One in five renters spends half their income on housing. A million and a half families simply cannot find housing that they can afford. And in many communities, waitlists for social housing are years long.

Thanks to strong advocacy from municipal leaders, Budget 2017 marked a game-changing federal re-engagement in affordable housing in municipalities across Canada:

  • $11.2 billion over 11 years for initiatives designed to build, renew and repair Canada's stock of affordable housing and help ensure that Canadians have decent housing that meets their needs.
  • A commitment to preserve baseline funding for social housing operating agreements — so that 600,000 current homes will not fall into critical disrepair.
  • Distinct support for northern housing and for Indigenous off-reserve housing — recognizing their pressing needs, unique realities and construction costs.

To truly tackle Canada's housing crisis, the details of these commitments will matter. FCM continues to work with all orders of government to develop an effective National Housing Strategy — one that ensures that every Canadian can find a safe, decent and affordable home.

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 FCM Resources

Recommendations for the Affordable Rental Housing Financing Initiative Documents/reports/FCM/Built_to_Last_Strengthening_the_foundations_of_housing_in_Canada_EN.pdf Seniors and Housing: The Challenge Ahead
Recommendations for the Affordable Rental Housing Financing Initiative Built to Last: Strengthening the Foundations of Housing in Canada


Watch report author, Steve Pomeroy, explain the issues 

Seniors and Housing: The Challenge Ahead


Read the:




Fixing Canada's Housing Crunch



Northwest Territories 


British Columbia 






New Brunswick 

Prince Edward  Island 

Nova Scotia 

Newfoundland and Labrador


Quick Facts


The amount returned in GDP for every dollar invested in housing.

Source: Finance Canada, Economic Action Plan: Employment and Output Impacts, 2009.

20 years

The length of time until our senior population doubles, just as federal support for social housing (one-third of which houses seniors) declines to zero.

Source: The Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Seniors and Housing: The Challenge Ahead, 2014.


The percentage of household debt resulting from mortgages. Record high household debt is one of the greatest threats to Canada's economy according to the Bank of Canada.

Sources: Statistics Canada, National balance sheet and financial flow accounts, December 2015; Bank of Canada, Financial System Review, December 2014.

1 in 5

The number of renters who spend more than 50% of their income on rent.

Source: Statistics Canada, National Household Survey, 2011.
Page Updated: 19/04/2017