To examine the issue, we started with exploring how homeownership rates vary across different racial groups. We used data from the:
- 2016 Census
- 2011 National Household survey
- 2006 Census
All population groups are self-identified. For homeownership, we consider people living in a home owned by at least one inhabitant of the home to be homeowners.
Mixed race was not a category in the 2006 Census and so is not included in some of the tables and figures.
- While many visible minority populations are near or above the national average, some groups show significantly lower homeownership rates. Black, Arab, Aboriginal people and Latin American Canadians had the lowest homeownership rates, and the gap grew since 2006.
- The gap remains after controlling for demographics, location and income. It also stays consistent across immigration segments, and in both urban and rural settings.
- Within racial groups, there’s little consistent difference between sexes in the share living in a home owned by at least one of the inhabitants. Some groups have a higher share for one sex to live in an owned home, while others have the opposite sex being more likely.
Implications for the housing industry
Further research is needed to understand what explains these results. At a high level, some potential factors that could contribute to the differential outcomes are:
- potential implicit biases in the housing finance system
- historic discriminatory practices
- spillover from broader economic inequalities
- current direct forms of discrimination
About the Inequalities in Housing Finance Research Insight series
The Inequalities in Housing Research Insight series highlights how housing outcomes differ dependent on race and other characteristics. They also differ across various areas, including:
- mortgage rates
- household debt
The data collection phase of CMHC’s discrimination work is important to identify areas of focus for future work. These Research Insights will also encourage others in the industry to focus on areas of key concern.
This series is an outcome of our commitment to eliminating unfair discrimination in housing in Canada.
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