Infographic: Affordable housing in Canada

Check out our infographic on affordable housing in Canada (click image to view full size in pdf).

And there's more info in articles on the need for affordable housing in Canada and what the shortage looks like.

*Please note: the shelter bed vs. affordable housing costs for Toronto represent the municipal costs only.

**The original version of this infographic incorrectly stated the cost for keeping someone on the street was $48,000 instead of $40,000. Our apologies for this error. The infographic has been corrected and updated to indicate that this figure comes from a study in Vancouver.

**The assertion that Canada is the only G8 country without a plan is under dispute. Some questions whether federal policies in Germany, Italy, Japan are, in fact, national housing plans. 


1Homelessness & housing need in Canada:

Defining and enumerating homelessness in Canada. Library of Parliament.

Housing conditions and core housing need. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

2 Affordable housing waitlists & average rents:

Waitlists for affordable housing data:

  • Vancouver: BC Housing
  • Calgary: City of Calgary 
  • Yellowknife: YWCA Yellowknife
  • Toronto: Housing Connections (
  • Iqaluit: Iqaluit Public Housing Authority
  • Montreal: Office municipal d'habitation de Montreal
  • Halifax: Metro Regional Housing Authority
  • St. John's: City of St. John's, Non-Profit Housing Division

Rental market report: Canada highlights. CMHC.

3Federal housing investments:

A budget for the rest of us: Alternative federal budget 2012. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

4Housing vs. alternatives:

The Cost of Homelessness: Analysis of Alternate Responses in Four Canadian Cities. Steve Pomeroy.

The blueprint to end homelessness in Toronto. Wellesley Institute.

In from the margins: A call to action on poverty, housing and homelessness. The Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

[The impact of housing investments on GDP]:  Canada’s Economic Action Plan: a 6th report to Canadians (September 2010), p. 142. Government of Canada

The real cost of homelessness. Stephen Gaetz.


Submitted by Deneze Lujanen on
i think if the government buys apartments and houses for the homeless /low income people and charge only less than 1/3rd of their cheques.. then there might be enough but at the rate the government is going wasting billions on the war in the middle east and putting ads on tv about BCs economy being great well that is a lie and it costs a fortune to do that,,,its not good the the premier is wasting money on projects that we dont need.. like the enderbridge pipe line ,its just another bill[Heat] that BCers on low income cant afford...its bad enough that hydro[power,heat] is expensive enough and wood heat is better but not all can afford to buy wood , nor do they have a wood stove... this country has gone to the birds.. Wake up times have changed and there is NO such thing as 375.00 Rent.. live in the bush build your own cabin and have a wood stove.. ive done that before... just to survive... well i personaly think that the government could get off their fanny and actually do their job and raise the rates of poverty and i even have a great idea how to.. start with welfare and disability rates they are so low. it like living back in the stone age... Support Rate Maximum Unit Size A B C D 1 $531.42 N/A N/A N/A $375.00-[Shelter] 2 $700.56 $949.06 $672.08 $949.06 570.00 - [Shelter] 3 $794.56 $1043.06 $672.08 $1043.06 $660.00-[Shelter] 4 $794.56 $1043.06 $672.08 $1043.06 $700.00-[Shelter] 5 $794.56 $1043.06 $672.08 $1043.06 $750.00-[Shelter] 6 $794.56 $1043.06 $672.08 $1043.06 $785.00- [Shelter] 7 $794.56 $1043.06 $672.08 $1043.06 $820.00-{shelter] Key Effective April 1, 2007, rates for: A Singles, couples, and two-parent families where one family member is a person with disabilities (PWD), and the other is not a PWD and is under 65. B Couples and two-parent families where both adults are PWDs. C One-parent families where the parent is a PWD. D Couples and two-parent families where one adult is aged 65 years or older but is not a PWD and where one adult is a PWD. now it would help if the rates show as this: Support Rate Shelter Maximum Unit Size A B C D 1 $794.56 $1443.06 $1472.08 $1543.06 $660.00[Rent] 2 $894.56 $1443.06 $1172.08 $1443.06 $850.00[Rent] 3 $1194.56 $1543.06 $1572.08 $1543.06 $1050.00[Rent] 4 $1394.56 $1743.06 $1772.08 $1743.06 $1685.00[Rent] 5 $1494.56 $1843.06 $1872.08 $1843.06 $2020.00[Rent] 6 1589.90 $1900.00 $1976.00 $1989.00 2500.00[rent] any more children in household add 300.00 per child in 1 house hold anyways that is my idea of the government uping the rates on our cheques...

Submitted by Jessica on
With Canada's housing shortage, and especially Ontario's, I question how we are going to house so many refugees? Isn't inviting 25,000+ refugees going to only make things even tougher? I know several people that sold their homes only to discover they couldn't afford to buy back into the market, then had a hell of a time trying to find a rental. I care about refugees, but I also worry about homelessness in our cold country.

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