Nunavut housing shortage still two to three times worse than Canada’s: CMHC
More than one-third of Nunavummiut living in crowded, rundown homes
The proportion of Canadian households in need of more or better housing has now been stable for a decade—but that’s not a good thing if you live in Nunavut.
It’s still the highest in Canada of unacceptable housing.
Core housing needs in Nunavut are two or even three times those of other regions in Canada, according to a report released Nov. 15 by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. and Statistics Canada, following the 2016 census.
The average rate of Canadian households in need of housing stands at 12.7 per cent, or 1.7 million households. That has only fluctuated by a few decimal points since the 2006 census, CMHC and StatCan said.
“While the proportion of Canadian households living in unacceptable housing conditions have remained stable over the last 10 years, different trends exist among provinces and territories,” the CHMC said.
“Core housing need was prevalent in the territories; the rate in Nunavut remained the highest in the country at 36.5 per cent.”
Numerically that means 3,545 households in Nunavut are in need of better housing. Only private home owners or renters were measured in the study and students were not considered.
So, what exactly does “core housing” mean?
According to the CMHC:
“Core housing need is the indicator used in Canada to identify households not living in, and not able to access, acceptable housing. It describes households living in dwellings considered inadequate in condition, not suitable in size, and unaffordable.”
To be considered adequate, suitable and affordable, a house shouldn’t need major repairs, it should have enough bedrooms for the people living in it and should cost less than 30 per cent of the occupants’ gross income, CMHC said.
While on a larger scale, Nunavut’s need is now slightly lower—by 2.8 per cent—than it was in 2011. But 190 more households are considered in need.
The other Canadian territories also had high core housing need in comparison to their populations.
The Northwest Territories came in second for most in need of worthy shelter, at 15.5 per cent, or 2,255 households in need.
A second step to prove housing need measured whether a household could take advantage of alternative housing options in its region, by looking at the local housing market, StatsCan said.
“Only those households who could not afford alternative housing would be considered in core housing need.”