A list of findings, by itself, is not always enough to understand how people think about a topic, like housing or why they had certain housing struggles. CMHC measures the impact of its research by distinguishing insights that are useful.
By analyzing and combining the data from research studies, we can distill insights that show the connections between related concerns. This gives us a deeper understanding. We support each insight with evidence, which can be used in discussions with decision makers.
The following Research Insights look at the challenges homeowners face when it comes to affordability and other issues, as well as the effects of affordable housing on new transit-oriented developments and social housing in the Greater Toronto Area West region.
Homeowners in Core Housing Need: Understanding Affordability and Other Challenges
A research team from the Institute of Urban Studies interviewed housing professionals in different provinces in Canada to learn about the policies and programs that are important to homeowners. The team also compiled a list of relevant policies and programs in selected provinces.
This information will help us understand the issues that homeowners face.
We learned many things in this study:
- Many people were spending more than 30% of their income on housing. Out of these, a few people were spending up to 70% of their income on housing.
- Many homeowners we talked to said that they didn't have many other housing options that were affordable.
- People with mortgages recognized that the rent for a 1-bedroom apartment was more than their mortgage payment.
Download this Homeowners in Core Housing Need: Understanding Affordability and Other Challenges Research Insight to explore all of the findings.
Inclusion of Affordable Housing in New Transit-Oriented Developments in Canadian Cities
CMHC commissioned PRA Inc. to do research on how to add more affordable housing to new transit-oriented developments in Canada. The research focused on rental units and used a design that included a review of the literature, interviews with 26 key people (municipal governments, regional planning organizations, private developers, non-profit developers, and academics) and the development of 9 case studies.
This research showed how different levels of government create affordable housing units in new transit-oriented developments projects. The research also looked at what factors restrict or help this process, as well as how housing stakeholders can overcome these issues. In addition, the research found the best ways to communicate how increasing affordable housing in transit-oriented developments can be achieved.
According to the research, the cost of land is the biggest obstacle for housing developers (private, non-profit and public) when trying to include affordable housing in transit-oriented developments. However, from key informants' experience, there are a few strategies that could help reduce these costs. If applied before the planning phase, these strategies can have the greatest impact in reducing land costs.
There are many ways to develop affordable housing near transit areas. Find out how, download this Research Insight, Inclusion of Affordable Housing in New Transit-Oriented Developments Study.
GTA West Social Housing and Health Study
This study examines the self-reported health and wellness outcomes of people living in rent-geared-to-income social housing. Rent-geared-to-income units allow access to affordable rental units for people who are vulnerable. Researchers have found that the high cost of rent can lead to poorer mental health outcomes and housing instability. The waitlists created by the provincial and municipal governments allowed a study to be conducted to examine the self-reported health and wellness outcomes of individuals attempting to access social housing before and after the intervention.
This report links affordability to mental and physical health outcomes. According to the report, over 790,000 Canadian renter households (almost 1 in 5 renters) pay more than 50% of household income towards shelter costs. The usual affordability benchmark is 30%.
This data suggests nearly 25% of Canadian households pay more than 30% of their income to shelter costs. The number of Canadian households considered in core housing need is just under 1.7 million. This represents a core housing need rate of 12.7%, with Toronto having the greatest rate (19.1%) of Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas.
The housing sector can have a positive impact on mental health. Learn more about what the GTA West Social Housing and Health Study Research Insight discovered.
Regent Park Revitalization Study, Phase 2 Results
This study looked at the health and wellness outcomes of housing improvements by taking advantage of the research opportunity arising from the revitalization of Toronto’s Regent Park social housing community.
The study specifically looked at phase 2 of a multi-phased redevelopment of the neighbourhood, which included an increase in housing units and overall density and a mix of social housing units, market rentals, and privately owned condos.
The research revealed 3 key outcomes to health and wellness of participants because of the housing intervention. Find out what they are, download the Regent Park Revitalization Study Research Insight.
Find more Research Insights and explore other findings about key populations who face barriers to access stable and affordable housing.
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