Canada’s Housing Crisis: Bridging the 3.5 Million Home Gap, Insights from CMHC

Canada still confronts a significant shortage of 3.5 million homes, a crucial challenge in addressing the pressing issue of housing affordability, as confirmed by the latest findings from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

While Canada has been making progress in its construction efforts, a substantial gap persists between the current rate of home construction and what is needed to restore housing affordability by 2030. However, this situation varies across the country, with evolving economic and demographic trends resulting in different degrees of improvement or deterioration in various provinces.

These insights from the CMHC were disclosed in a report dated September 13, representing the continuation of their ongoing commitment to monitor housing affordability in Canada, a project initiated in June 2022.

To illustrate, in Ontario, the housing supply deficit has decreased to just below 1.5 million homes, a notable improvement from the 1.85 million initially projected in 2022. Conversely, in Alberta, the shortage has increased from 20,000 to a concerning 130,000 homes.

As home prices continue to soar, making homeownership an elusive dream for many Canadians, especially in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, the CMHC has been rigorously examining strategies to return affordability to levels last seen in 2004.

Aled ab Iorwerth, Deputy Chief Economist for the CMHC, stressed the urgency of addressing this issue, emphasizing, “This latest report underscores the imperative need for immediate action to boost housing supply and make housing affordable for all Canadians. It also underscores our ongoing efforts to enhance our understanding of the dynamics driving housing demand and supply.”

The CMHC’s upcoming update, expected early next year, will delve deeper into the impact of population movement across various regions and provinces, calculate the required number of rental units to achieve affordability, and assess how the housing supply shortage affects individuals with diverse income levels.

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