CMHC Says It’s True – There’s A Mould Issue For People In Core Housing Need

The exterior of a high rise building in covered in ugly black and orange stains.
This scene was created by and is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

Canada has a standard for adequate housing. It was last revised in 1980! At that time, the focus shifted from whether there was indoor plumbing to structural issues like holes in the roof and walls and whether the foundation was solid.

It’s a long time since 1980. Since then, there’s been a huge amount of research that connects housing with health outcomes. Some of that research has confirmed a connection between mould and personal health.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is responsible for deciding what constitutes adequate housing. CMHC began asking people about mould in their homes in 2018. The question was pertinent because people who have to pay a lot for their housing might be disproportionately affected by mould. An undated investigation from CMHC reports the results.

Specific groups within the population are more likely to report mould in their homes. People who identify as Indigenous are one such group. People who live in Nunavut (the northernmost Territory in Canada) are also more likely to report mould in their homes. This is unlikely to come as a surprise to people who read’s posts1 or follow the news.

At the same time, there were some surprises in the study. For example, people who identify as Indigenous and report good physical and mental health are significantly less likely to report the presence of mould in their homes. Contemplating these results, the research states:

“This suggests that addressing mold and pest issues will have a larger positive impact for Indigenous households. Given that much has been seen in media and research reports regarding the conditions of housing available to Indigenous households, remediation in this area would have a positive impact.”

This seems pretty definitive. Will it be enough to finally get on with clearing the mould out of Indigenous people’s housing?

The study is posted by CMHC: Healthy Homes Adequacy Standard


  1. Try: Canadian Arctic Housing: Cozy On The Outside. Now Have A Look Inside