Core housing need identifies those who may need help with their home

Core housing need is a two-stage indicator that helps to identify who need housing assistance. It has been used in Canada since the 1980s.

Assessing a household for core housing need involves two steps to determine if:

  1. the household lives in acceptable housing
  2. the before-tax income is sufficient to access acceptable local housing

Core housing need focuses on vulnerable populations. This indicator looks beyond a resident’s current situation and evaluates their potential to improve their situation. It determines if residents have the potential to solve the situation on their own.

Core housing need happens when:

  1. major repairs are required and residents don’t have the means to move to a good unit in their community
  2. there are not enough bedrooms for the residents, and they don’t have the means to move
  3. the current home costs more than the residents can afford, and they do not have the means to make a move or find an available affordable home in their community

Core housing need assesses households living in private residences. It doesn’t include farms, reserves or owner- or renter-households with incomes less than 0 and shelter-cost-to-income ratios of 100% or more.

The core housing need indicator was developed CMHC in discussion with the provinces and territories.

Approximately 1.7 million Canadian households (out of 13.4 million) were in core housing need in 2016.

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Date Published:: August 14, 2019