Build More Rental Housing

Goal: 500

We call on Canada's governments to make it easier and cheaper to build a wave of new, secure rental housing — both non-profit and market housing — 👉 enough to return rental markets to a healthy vacancy rate around 3%.*

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Renting is an increasingly common way to make a home throughout one’s life, especially as home ownership prices leave young peoples' earnings behind.

For too many Canadians, rental markets are now a nightmare of insecurity, sky-high costs, intense competition, limited options, and a sense of being treated — financially and in our neighbourhoods — as second-class citizens.

This is reflected in rental housing market scores provided by the Canadian Rental Housing index, which lists many of Canada's major cities in critical, severe or poor condition — including Greater Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Toronto, York, Peel, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montréal, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax, St. John's, Yellowknife, Iqaluit, Whitehorse and many others. [1]  

All Canadians should be able to turn to local rental housing — whether by necessity or choice — and find affordable, secure homes in which to live, raise families, save, and age.

We're encouraging governments to enact a comprehensive game plan to help achieve that vision. [2, 3] 

A key part of that plan: build more purpose-built rental homes.



*We recommend a vacancy target of about 3% in recognition that vacancy varies from one community to another, and targets should reflect the vacancy history that is specific to each community.  We select 3% because it is the target adopted by the City of Vancouver, where vacancy rates have been particularly low by comparison with national trends, and rent increases have been correspondingly high of late.  A 3% vacancy rate target is also in line with the average national vacancy rate reported by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) since 1992 (approximately 3.3%); and somewhat above the average in Ontario (2.7%) and BC (2.4%) where rising rents have pressured communities more than in other provinces.

[1] You can find rental market scores for your own community here
[2] Learn more about our comprehensive gameplan here
[3] Purpose-built rental ("PBR") homes are those that are specifically and permanently built as a rental 👉 unlike something like a rented basement suite or someone else's condo that can be taken back by the owner at any time. PBR is more secure, and we need more of it. Refer to our comprehensive gameplan to learn about specific categories of action and policies we're recommending to get more PBR built. 

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