A new report by Habitat for Humanity has brought to the forefront the alarming reality of housing affordability in Canada, specifically the grim reality faced by British Columbians – one of the most expensive jurisdictions in Canada.
The findings were based on a comprehensive survey conducted by Leger revealing that a significant majority of B.C. residents allocate more than half of their income towards housing costs.
A majority reported that they were spending over 50% of their income just to keep a roof over their heads. surpassing the national average by a notable 4%.
Julia Deans, serving as the president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada, expressed deep concern over the implications of this report. She highlighted the urgent need for immediate action to address the growing housing crisis.
“It’s supposed to be 30% or less,” Deans told CTV News.
“The number should be that nobody is spending more than 30% of their household income on housing, because of course that means that you’ve got less of your household income to spend on the other things that are essential. That could be food, it could be transportation, it could be heating.”
The survey also delves into the perception of homeownership in B.C., where an overwhelming 83% of respondents feel that owning a home in their community is nearly unattainable. This figure also exceeds the national average.
“Last year revealed some pretty troubling attitudes and that people were quite depressed about the state of affordable housing in Canada, and this year we saw that it worsened,” said Deans.
Moreover, a staggering 94% of British Columbians believe that the dream of homeownership in Canada is steadily becoming more out of reach.
With regard to regional makeup, Vancouver stands out as an example of skyrocketing prices.
A whopping 91% of Vancouverites anticipate a continued rise in housing costs, even as the average cost to own a house has surpassed $1.2 million.
Additionally, 43% of residents in the city express fears of eviction for renovations from landlords.
Furthermore, the report sheds light on the perception of rent affordability, with a striking 91% of British Columbians deeming rent as unreasonably high in their communities, marking the highest proportion nationwide.
Despite the grim statistics, the report reveals a glimmer of hope, with 69% of Canadians surveyed expressing disagreement with the notion that “there isn’t much that can be done to deal with Canada’s housing problems.”