Core Housing Need
Core housing need measures the number of households whose housing: i) costs them more than 30% of their income, ii) requires major repairs, or iii) is not big enough for their family size.
Why This Matters
Adequate, suitable, and affordable housing is a crucial basic need. Individuals in core housing need are unable to meet one of these three standards, thereby placing a large stress on their resources and health (HRSDC, 2011). As housing costs often account for significant portions of household budgets, these costs could make the difference between comfortably meeting basic needs and substantial financial stress (HRSDC, 2011).
Measurement and Limitations
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) defines a household as being in core housing need if it is “unable to afford shelter that meets adequacy, suitability, and affordability norms. The norms have been adjusted over time to reflect the housing expectations of Canadians. Affordability, one of the elements used to determine core housing need, is recognized as a maximum of 30 per cent of the household income spent on shelter” (https://cmhc.beyond2020.com/HiCODefinitions_EN.html).
A household is considered adequate if it does not require major repairs. Suitability refers to having enough bedrooms for the size and makeup of households. Based on National Occupancy Standards, each cohabiting adult couple, unattached household member 18 years of age and over, same-sex pair of children under 18 years of age, and each additional boy or girl in the family (unless there are two opposite sex children under five years of age who would be expected to share a bedroom) are expected to have one bedroom. Finally, a household is deemed affordable if it costs less than 30 per cent of residents’ before-tax income, including rent, mortgage, and utility payments. (HRSDC, 2011; CMHC, 2001b)
This indicator is reported as the number of households that meet the above criteria. It should be noted that the data for Core Housing Need is reported for the Winnipeg Census Metropolitan Area – an area that extends beyond the borders of the city and includes the City of Winnipeg plus the municipalities of West St. Paul, East St. Paul, Headingley, Richot, Tache, Springfield, Rosser, St. Francois Xavier, St. Clements, and the Brokenhead First Nation).
This indicator does not include individuals that are homeless.
Data for this indicator is obtained from the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/).
This indicator can be explored in more depth using their Housing in Canada Online tool http://cmhc.beyond2020.com/
This data is updated every 5 years as it becomes available.
More detail about this indicator can be found in Peg’s 2017 Wellbeing Report on the Natural and Built Environment.
Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation. (CMHC). (2001a). 2001 Participation and activity limitation survey: Issue 10 – Summary of the housing conditions of Canadians with disabilities aged 15 years and older who are living in a household in core housing need. Retrieved from http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/inpr/rehi/rehi_022.cfm
Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation. (CMHC). (2001b). 2001 Participation and activity limitation survey: Issue 5 – Profile of the housing conditions of Canadians aged 15 years and older with a learning disability. Retrieved from http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/inpr/rehi/rehi_020.cfm
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. (HRSDC). (2011). Definition – housing need. Retrieved from http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/[email protected]?wrd=Housing Need&iid=41
Core Housing Need Sustainable Development Goals
11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically.
However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure.
The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. The future we want includes cities of opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.
Related Core Housing NeedTargets
By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums