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Need for affordable housing

Affordable housing for Calgarians

 In Calgary, over 38,000 renter households are considered in need of affordable housingthat is they spend greater than 30% of their gross income on housing and earn less than $53,000. Those in need include students, seniors, young couples, people with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, low-income workers and their families, new Canadians and people who are unemployed. Another 33,500 households that own their homes are considered at risk of losing their homes.  

If, due to circumstances beyond their control, these households were to miss a paycheque or realize a decreased monthly income, they would no longer be able to meet their housing costs. (2006 Federal Census​)​

With rising housing costs and rising standard of living costs, these households are challenged to afford housing and other basic needs such as food, clothing, medicine and childcare.  

Household incomes in Calgary have not risen as dramatically as housing prices. Over the past 10 years, housing prices have increased 156% yet incomes have increased only 34% during that same time. Over these years, Calgary experienced a rapid boom with this result rapid rise in house prices. In 2008, with the global economic changes, house prices moderated.  


The City of Calgary has produced a variety of research papers related to affordable housing and homelessness:

Calgary Affordable Housing Site Selection Analysis

In 2015, The City of Calgary analyzed multiple criteria to identify which areas of Calgary are the most suitable for affordable housing. This report presents the background, methodology, limitations and some of the results of this analysis, as well as implications of the results and next steps.

Housing Preferences of Low-Income Calgarians

The 2015 housing preferences of low-income Calgarians presents the findings of the 2012 survey on the housing preferences of low and moderate income Calgarians. This report compliments the Housing Needs Assessment research (see section below) and provides detailed information about the type of housing form that is preferred by those in need, along with their preferences on location, amenities and management policies.

Calgary Affordable Housing Needs Assessment Report

This report examines the current and predicted future need for afforable housing in Calgary.

2011 Survey of Non-Market Rental Housing in Calgary

Administered for the first time, this survey serves as a benchmark that provides detailed information about the state of Calgary's affordable housing stock as of 2010. Comprehensive information is presented on providers, projects, units, and waiting lists.

More Resources

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation​ (CMHC) has the most extensive housing information source in the country, serving consumers, builders, developers, academics and industry decision-makers through their Library.

CMHC also has a team of experts in the Affordable Housing Centre dedicated to advancing affordable housing solutions across the country. Access the most comprehensive range of affordable housing information, tools and resources that can help make your vision a reality. Finally, housing market information​ from CMHC is also available.

Calgary Affordable Housing Vignettes

Straight Talk About Affordable Housing​

Please visit Attainable Homes Calgary​ for information on the attainable home ownership program and the need for affordable or attainable homeownership.​​