805,000 homes in Canada don’t have enough space for the people living in them: data – National | Pro IQRA News

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With seven families living in a three-bedroom townhouse and a fitness business she runs from home, Vanessa van Tol is an expert at maximizing space.

Delta, BC, the personal trainer behind Lunges and Lipstick uses his garage to work out, buys a bunk bed and trundle so his three sons can share a bedroom and two other daughters, and tends to buy smaller toys and promote outdoor activities and travel. .

“Our stance is that we are a family of adventurers,” he said.

“We probably weren’t going to get a big house, so instead of going crazy and being very tight on our budget, saving every penny we had on getting a bigger house, we chose to use the money to experience life. and enjoy it.”


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A dedication to making the most of your space has long been common in Canada, but is becoming increasingly important as the housing market has become so frenzied over the past decade.

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While even hot areas like Vancouver and Toronto have cooled in recent months, home ownership remains out of reach for many who are trying to set aside money to buy, while contending with 30 years of high inflation and soaring rents.

Some have mirrored the Toll van by maximizing and sharing space. It’s also not unheard of for several families to live in one house or for students and other tenants to sign a lease for a living room made into a bedroom.

This situation contributes to 805,650 homes in the country deemed “unsuitable” for the number of people living there, according to the latest round of census data released by Statistics Canada Wednesday.

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The federal data agency considers a home “unsuitable” when three or more people occupy a bedroom.

It found that more than 630,800 homes had a shortage of one bedroom in 2021 based on the number of occupants, while around 129,200 lacked two bedrooms and 45,500 lacked three bedrooms or more.

StatCan also counts nearly 1.5 million Canadian households live in “core housing needs” by 2021, which is defined as living in an “inappropriate, inadequate or unaffordable” residence and unable to afford alternative housing in the same community. .

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However, the level of core housing needs fell from 12.7 percent in 2016 to 10.1 percent in 2021, largely driven by increases in household incomes and housing affordability.

Tenants are more likely to be in a core housing need than owners are in most countries. The gap is greatest in Montreal and tenants in Toronto and Vancouver are more than twice as likely to live in core housing needs as homeowners in those cities.

At the heart of overcrowding is population growth, unaffordable housing and a lack of supply, said Murtaza Haider, professor of data science and real estate management at the Metropolitan University of Toronto.


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“Our population has steadily increased over the last four or five decades, but our construction rate, the number of new housing built per million people, that rate has dropped significantly, almost half during the early 90s,” he said.

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“Development of purpose-built rental housing almost dropped to zero in the mid-1990s. People are seeing a bit of a revival now but nothing to the same degree (as before).”

To meet the country’s housing needs, a June report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation found that the country needs 3.5 million more homes than it is scheduled to build by 2030.

And the built ones may not come with the desired price tag. The Canadian Real Estate Association found the national median house price was $637,673 in August, but more than $1 million in Toronto and Vancouver.

It predicts the national average price will rise 4.7 percent to $720,255 by the end of the year and rise another 0.2 percent to $721,814 in 2023.

Such a price led Dave Campanella and Cate Ahrens to turn to family on a house hunt. Instead of getting into a bidding war that saw them overshoot their desired price point, they bought half of the Ahrens sister’s three-story house three years ago and turned it into a duplex.

Now, they live on the main and basement floors with their two children and sister Ahrens and her partner own the top floor and attic.

“Would it be nice to have our own home next to them? That might be ideal,” said Campanella.

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“I don’t want to lie to myself. It’s only half the house, but with the madness of real estate prices in Toronto, it was the best we could hope for.

For the country’s lowest-paid workers, even owning half a home is out of reach because wages don’t keep up with inflation, Haider added.

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“Very low-income workers throng apartments, where the same bed is used by someone to sleep at night because they work during the day, and night shift people who work at night come in and sleep during the day,” he said. said.

But they are also least likely to be represented in the crowding census data.

People living in precarious conditions often don’t respond to census requests because a landlord rents out a property to one person, but in reality, four or five people share the space, Haider said.

Those who are not on lease often will not complete a census at all and the primary tenant will not disclose the true nature of their residence to avoid being caught.

“This is a real challenge,” Haider said.

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“There are flaws in the census of the most vulnerable, but how widespread that is, it’s hard to tell.”


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© 2022 Canadian Press

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