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New report: Public opinion polling on housing affordability in Canada

November 21, 2023

Today the Environics Institute for Survey Research and Century Initiative released a new national survey on Canadian public opinion about housing affordability, as part of the Environics Institute’s ongoing Focus Canada research program. 

The survey results show that a growing number of young Canadians are concerned with their prospects for homeownership and with the rising cost of housing in general. The proportion of survey respondents saying that affordable housing is the most important problem facing Canada rose from 1% in 2020 to 14% today. These findings demonstrate the urgent need to increase housing supply and to ensure that decent housing is within reach for allCanadians.

Addressing this issue will require an all-of-government approach. Federal, provincial, and municipal governments must use every tool at their disposal to incentivize and accelerate housing development and affordability. This includes efforts to modernize zoning rules, construct purpose-built rentals, curb profit-driven housing investment practices, address the growing labour shortage in the construction sector, and more. 

“It is possible to have the most transformative housing policies in generations and still not be doing enough,” said Lisa Lalande, CEO of Century Initiative. “We need ambitious plans that ensure new homes are built at scale in sizes and places that match people’s needs.”

As Century Initiative’s 2023 Scorecard Key Insights note, ambitious targets around population growth must be matched by commensurate efforts to ensure livability in communities throughout the country. Canadian governments need to do more to address housing and infrastructure gaps in our cities and towns. Going forward, focused policy attention must be given to improving our country’s housing landscape, for current and future generations.

Read the full report for more details.