- Renters reported living in dwellings with mold and pests more often than homeowners.
- Populations that are vulnerable may face additional and complex challenges. They report being exposed more frequently and experience more difficulty dealing with infestation conditions.
- Self-identified Indigenous households reported more often living in dwellings with mold and pest infestations compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts.
- Family composition is linked to the presence of mold and pests.
Future research opportunities
- This research provides results by market home ownership and rental, leaving an opportunity to study infestation conditions in social and affordable housing.
- Including questions on the presence of mold and pests in future cycles of the Canada Housing Survey provides an opportunity to track changes over time. Infestation conditions could be tracked nationally and provincially.
- More qualitative research, broken down by tenure and sub-population, would help deepen our understanding of how mold and pest infestations differ between homeowners and renters.
Implications for the housing sector and housing policy
- There are links between the presence of infestation conditions and physical and mental health outcomes. Addressing mold and pest issues may have more positive impacts on Indigenous households. This is because this group faces complex challenges in accessing adequate housing.
- The presence of infestation conditions has been linked to more frequent moves by households. Frequent moves may place additional stress on already vulnerable households. Implementing and enforcing acceptability guidelines for the presence of mold and pests in homes could promote healthier living conditions. Such guidelines could be developed to complement and expand on existing national and international guidelines.
- The current definition of housing adequacy measures the need for major repairs, leaving other elements, like the presence of infestation conditions, unaddressed. There’s an opportunity to update the definition of “adequate” housing. An updated definition could include guidelines on infestation conditions in different housing types and lead to stronger enforcement of healthier home regulations. This definition can be aligned with work related to a Human Rights based approach to Adequate Housing, especially to the standard of physical and mental health.
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