What does affordable housing mean?

    According to the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC):

    In Canada, housing is considered affordable if shelter costs account for less than 30 per cent of before-tax household income. The term "affordable housing" is often used interchangeably with "social housing"; however, social housing is just one category of affordable housing and usually refers to rental housing subsidized by the government. Affordable housing is a much broader term and includes housing provided by the private, public and not-for-profit sectors as well as all forms of housing tenure (ie. rental, ownership and cooperative ownership). It also includes temporary as well as permanent housing. In other words, the term "affordable housing" can refer to any part of the housing continuum from temporary emergency shelters through transition housing, supportive housing, subsidized housing, market rental housing or market homeownership.”    

    In the St. John’s housing market, the task of securing adequate, affordable housing can be extremely difficult for people across the income spectrum. 

    What is Core Housing Need

    According to CMHC, a Household Is in Core Housing Need If

    its housing does not meet one or more of the adequacy, suitability or affordability standards, and

    -  it would have to spend 30% or more of its before-tax income to access acceptable local housing. 

    11.9% (9000) households were in core housing need in St. John’ in 2011.

    Why is housing so important?

    Housing is a foundation upon which a prosperous, vibrant and healthy community is built. Investment in affordable housing solutions helps to produce many dividends for the entire community:

    ·  A secure labor force, especially in the essential service sector of the economy

    ·  Healthy independent living for seniors

    ·  The reduction of poverty

    ·  Improved outcomes for employment, education, and health and community safety

    ·  Environmental sustainability through energy efficiency

    Affordable housing is about creating and promoting a range of housing choices as diverse as the city itself: Different people have different housing needs based on their household size, employment, ability, health, income, stage in life, and a host of other factors.

    The current Affordable Housing Business Plan looks at solutions across the housing continuum with a particular focus on creating housing that is affordable to households in a growing affordability gap: those with incomes too high for a housing subsidy but too low to afford market rental or ownership options.

    For more FAQs, visit: http://www.stjohns.ca/living-st-johns/your-city/affordable-housing