Racialized Canadians face more housing challenges

Racialized Canadians face more housing difficulties

Housing in Montreal.

Racialized Canadians – who are neither white nor indigenous – are considerably more likely to live in unsuitable or unaffordable housing, in addition to owning their homes less often for certain categories.

Statistics Canada has just added new data to the census that makes it possible to better assess the housing challenges faced by racialized people.

By compiling data from the federal agency, Métrofinds that racialized Canadians were 47% more likely to be in core housing need in 2021 compared to the Canadian average. People in core housing need are defined as people living in housing that is either unsuitable in size, requires major renovations, or has housing costs greater than 30% of pre-tax net income.

Apart from racialized groups, it should be noted that even more Aboriginal people face urgent housing needs. They are 71.4% more likely to be in this situation than the national average.

The data also indicates that racialized Greater Montrealers are 25% more to be in core housing need, thus having less of a gap with the average than racialized Canadians and those residing in Ontario or Vancouver. Halifax is the Canadian agglomeration where people of color are most likely to be in core housing need (76.9%).

Between 2016 and 2021, the number of people in core housing need decreased by 27.4% in Canada. This decrease is 36.6% for racialized people, which is not enough to close the gap between non-racialized people and racialized people in Canada. As racialized groups have more low incomes, Statistics Canada argues that income replacement measures during the pandemic would have helped them more.

Inequalities within racialized communities

Statistics Canada points out that immigrants who arrived in the country less than ten years ago also experience more core housing need than immigrants who arrived more than ten years ago. Federal agency reveals West Asians – of Iranian, Afghan, Armenian and Turkish origin, for example – Koreans and Arabs who are the most affected by the phenomenon.

On the question of property, racialized Canadians are 66.4 % to live in a household owner whereas for the total of the Canadian population, this figure is 71.9%. But the gaps within racialized groups are very significant. The Chinese are 84.5% to have accessed the property, while this is the case only 45.2% of blacks, 48% of Arabs and 48.6% of Latin Americans.

The Popular Action Front in Urban Redevelopment mentioned, in a 2020 report, systemic inequalities in access to housing, while indicating that there was a lack of data to this effect. With the new data by ethnic origin from Statistics Canada, new indicators exist today to measure inequalities in housing between racialized and white people.

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