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Affordable housing

Action on Canada’s housing crisis

Housing is more than just a roof over your head. Safe, affordable housing makes our cities and communities welcoming places to live, work and start a business. It's also important to retaining workers and attracting newcomers to enrich our neighbourhoods and drive economic growth.

Yet today, one in five renters spends half of their income on housing, and  1.7 million households can't access a decent home they can afford.  Local governments are encouraging new affordable housing where they can, including by offering land, exempting fees and expediting permits. But it'll take leadership from all orders of government to tackle the housing crisis — and FCM has led an unprecedented campaign to make that happen.

We envision a long-term transformation of Canada's housing system-with more and more diverse affordable housing choices for Canadians of all income levels. We also know that transformation starts with the basics: significant, well-designed investments to repair and build social and affordable housing. With our united municipal voice, we're determined to see that happen.

A breakthrough for affordable housing

On November 22, 2017, the government unveiled a national housing strategy that responds directly to FCM recommendations. It commits to replace rent subsidies set to disappear as social housing operating agreements expire. It commits major new funds to tackle backlogged social housing repairs. And after 20 years, it gets Ottawa back into the business of supporting new affordable housing construction. This is a breakthrough cities and communities across our Canada — and for our vision that every Canadian deserves a safe, decent, affordable home.

Canada’s housing opportunitySeptember 2017

Read how FCM’s Big-City Mayors’ Caucus wants the National Housing Strategy to get it right and transform affordable housing for the next generation.

Canada’s housing opportunityOctober 2016

Read FCM's submission to the National Housing Strategy consultations.

Quick Facts


The amount returned in GDP for every dollar invested in housing.

Source: Finance Canada, Economic Action Plan: Employment and Output Impacts, 2009.

20 years

The length of time until our senior population doubles, just as federal support for social housing (one-third of which houses seniors) declines to zero.

Source: The Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Seniors and Housing: The Challenge Ahead, 2014.


The percentage of household debt resulting from mortgages. Record high household debt is one of the greatest threats to Canada's economy according to the Bank of Canada.

Sources: Statistics Canada, National balance sheet and financial flow accounts, December 2015; Bank of Canada, Financial System Review, December 2014.

1 in 5

The number of renters who spend more than 50% of their income on rent.

Source: Statistics Canada, National Household Survey, 2011.
Page Updated: 07/02/2018