Several recent events have highlighted the need for increased awareness for affordable housing in Canada. Along with National Housing Strategy Day, which took place on Nov. 22, 11 local homebuilders and developers were recently recognized for their contributions to the Resolve campaign, which helps house those in need.
To help shed some light on the need for more affordable housing, CREB®Now examines some of the numbers surrounding efforts to combat homelessness in Calgary and Canada.
According to the Calgary Homeless Foundation, the city’s homeless population numbered 3,555 in October 2014, with a further 15,600 households defined as being at extreme risk. Of that 3,555, the number of those ages 17 and under was 434, with nearly half of those (198) under the age of five.
In March 2015, 852,137 people accessed a food bank in Canada. More than one-third of those helped were children. In Alberta, more than 60,000 Albertans rely of food banks every month, 43 per cent of which are children. Between March 2014 and March 2015, three-quarters of food banks in Alberta reported an increase in use.
30 per cent
The 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada reported that nearly one in four Canada households had an “affordability problem” – defined as shelter costs that comprised 30 per cent or more of household income. Around one in nine homes were deemed as having “severe” affordability challenges, a result of devoting more than half of their household income to shelter costs.
The number of Calgary households where housing is deemed unaffordable is a reported 86,750, or nearly one in five.
According to the Calgary Homeless Foundation, 23,165 households live in poverty (income less than $20,000 and spending more than 50 per cent of their income on shelter) in Calgary. Of those, 13,765 were renter households, which are a much higher risk than homeowner households of becoming homeless.