Monday, November 30, 2009

Social Housing


I am having a tough time locating the number of people on waiting lists for social housing in Canada. It appears as though there has been a diminishing federal involvement over time and at the present, because most social housing is either provincially or municipally handled, there is no single central group overseeing it all. As such, I suspect that the researcher will have to use the data collected by each provincial housing authority. Am I missing something?


Statistics Canada does not collect information on the number of people on waiting lists for social housing in Canada. I suspect that these data may be collected at a local or provincial level or perhaps by other federal organizations (CMHC for example).

Additional Information

Social housing for the most part was downloaded from the Federal Government to Provinces who in turn downloaded to municipalities.  There are a few Federal Cooperatives left but not many.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has worked with 24 municipalities across the country on the collecting of data for social housing which included a survey of social housing waiting lists, social housing inventories, absolute homelessness and the risk of homelessness.

Social housing waiting list data are not collected in all cities, are not collected in the same way when they are, while social housing is not uniformly defined.  Data on social housing waiting lists at the moment is not comparable across time and jurisdictions in Canada.  There is no Federal agency responsible for collecting these types of data.  Sometimes it is the city who collects, sometimes it is housing authorities, sometimes it is community groups.  I have not yet seen provinces collect these data.

There is also no Federal Agency which keeps an inventory of non market rental units in Canada, and that includes social housing.  At the latest CMHC National Housing Research Committee there was a request from the western municipal representative that this be conducted as part of the work of CMHC.  I do not know the outcome of that discussion.

If you are looking for FCM QoLRS data on this topic, it can be found here -

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