Black Canadians and LGBTQ populations have some of the lowest home ownership rates in Canada, according to new government studies that attempt to determine how different groups are faring in the country’s housing market.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2018 only 48 percent of the black population and 47 percent of the LGBTQ community lived in a home that was owned by a household member. In comparison, the national home ownership rate of the population was 73 percent.
“We know that black and LGBTQ2+ people in Canada have suffered historical loss and inequality of opportunity in many aspects of their lives,” said Marie-Claude Landry, chief commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
“This data should prompt Canada to explore why we are seeing this disparity in housing for certain groups,” she said.
The commission worked with StatScan on a series of studies, which uses data from a 2018 nationwide survey of household characteristics and living arrangements. The report is designed to help federal housing advocates promote the right to housing and monitor the impact of the nation’s housing policies.
“The role of advocates in connecting with these communities and understanding their life experiences will be critical to finding answers and proposing solutions,” said Ms. Landry.
Study lead author Jeff Randall said the goal of these studies was to provide a baseline for how different population groups in Canada experienced housing. StatScan is analyzing other groups, including indigenous, Latin American, Filipino, Korean and Arab populations.
Ever since the pandemic started, the problem of affordable housing in the country has worsened. The national average home price is now 33 percent higher than it was in pre-pandemic days, and rental rates are climbing again after last year’s brief slump. The real estate boom is happening across the country, not just in major cities; Places that were once considered affordable are no longer affordable.
The study did not analyze why the black population has the lowest home ownership rate in Canada. It found that 74 percent of South Asians lived in a household owned by a household member, compared to 85 percent of the Chinese population. The report also noted that senior citizens had a higher home ownership rate of 78 percent.
The report also found that renters struggle more than landlords with affordable and suitable housing. Overall, 9 percent of Canadian residents (tenants and landlords) were living in property that was deemed unsuitable or where they paid more than 30 percent of their pretax income. But about one-fifth of renters were in that position, while only 5 percent of landlords were struggling with housing costs.
StatScan also found that just over one-quarter of renters spent more than 30 percent of their gross income on shelter costs, while 15 percent of homeowners shared that burden. StatScan said a high percentage of senior citizens who rent spent more than 30 percent of their income on shelters.
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