Housing supply

Understanding Housing Shortages in Canada

This analysis examines the problem caused by the lack of housing supply, but does not seek to solve all the complex problems that affect housing affordability. Alternative approaches to reducing demand are not explored in this report. This is just one of many reports we will publish in the future to deepen our understanding and fill our knowledge gaps on from Canada housing affordability issues.

Report Highlights:

  • We project that if current rates of new construction continue, the housing stock will increase by 2.3 million units between 2021 and 2030, reaching almost 19 million housing units by 2030. To restore the affordability, we expect Canada will need 3.5 million more units. This means that the housing stock should reach more than 22 million housing units by 2030 to be affordable for everyone living in Canada.
  • This analysis focuses on the entire housing system and the supply needed to restore housing affordability for all in Canada. Housing issues are complex, and housing supply alone will not solve housing affordability issues for everyone. Continued government support for the most vulnerable and addressing housing inequities in the housing system are necessary to achieve affordability for all.
  • Given the housing demand of Canadians, increasing the supply of housing in the rental and home ownership market is key to achieving affordability. The increase in housing supply, beyond the expected growth in the number of households, will allow households to better match the housing they want.
  • More housing units created in the housing market will create opportunities for households to move into housing that meets their demands. Additionally, this “screening process” frees up housing to improve housing affordability over time.
  • Not all new housing units have to be new construction, as there are other approaches to housing supply. The increase in cohabitation agreements and the redevelopment of existing residential, commercial and industrial properties are examples.
  • Two-thirds of this housing supply shortfall is in Ontario and British Columbia, as these provinces have faced significant declines in affordability in recent years. Additional supply would also be needed in Quebecas affordability in the province has declined markedly in recent years.


“The scale of the challenge identified in this report is greater than the exact number of housing units needed. from Canada approach to housing supply needs to be rethought and done differently. There needs to be a radical transformation of the housing sector, including government policies and processes, and an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to increasing housing supply to meet demand.”

Aled ab Iorwerth, Deputy Chief Economist, CMHC

For more information about this release:

We encourage journalists to contact CMHC Media Relations and to book an appointment with our experts about from Canada Housing supply shortages: estimating what it takes to solve from Canada housing affordability crisis by 2030.

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As a trusted source of housing information, CMHC provides unbiased housing data, research and market information to help fill knowledge gaps and deepen understanding of complex housing issues to to inform future policy decisions.

This report examines the supply gap to make housing affordable for all in Canada. It does not break down the results by household income level, examine government-subsidized housing for low-income households, or address all of the complex issues that impact housing affordability. We have not considered the significant housing challenges in the Territories and the impacts of climate change in this report and are committed to advancing our analysis of these issues at later stages.

Due to data limitations, we also do not forecast supply gaps for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. CMHC is committed to partnering with these communities to conduct further research to understand their distinct needs.

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: CMHC Media Relations, [email protected]