Will Canada-wide Public Housing Wait Times Prod More Construction?

house in poor condition
Derelict. photo by Shawn Harquail is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Low income Canadians living in substandard conditions wait and wait.

Too much to expect, we assume, for Canada to announce the arrival of a huge burst of actual housing on National Housing Day. Maybe some kind of national surprise present? 100,000 or so much needed housing units built secretly all over the nation and suddenly unveiled?


Last year we got promises — a ten-year national housing initiative. Alas, for those most in need, any fulfillment of the promise of this initiative turns out to be towards the ‘ten-year’ end of things.

Oh dear.

This year, the government’s present to the people is statistics. Hardly a lump of coal in the Christmas stocking, but still . . .

Statistics Canada has gathered and is releasing for the first time the wait times for public housing in Canadian communities. As a national snapshot, it’s both interesting and useful, though to some extent a tip of the iceberg. That’s because a substantial number of individuals and families have noted that Canada has for the last few decades built little or no public housing. Why bother getting your hopes up by sitting on a waiting list for years, if not decades (literally!)? The stats tabulate really patient low-income Canadians1.

Given the trickle of social housing currently under construction, we can expect annual changes to this new statistic to be somewhat on the ho-hum side until (or even if) Canada finally starts seriously wagging the social housing tail of the National Housing Strategy dog.

Read more at CTVNEWS: Statcan details wait times for social housing, perceptions on housing


  1. Add in pending CBC New Brunswick story