City of Calgary research reveals trends and gaps in local housing supply
The City of Calgary, in collaboration with the Community Housing Affordability Collective (CHAC), has published Housing in Calgary: An Inventory of Housing Supply 2015/2016. Using data from a variety of sources, the report provides a comprehensive picture of Calgary’s housing supply with a focus on affordable housing (non-market housing).
“The report identifies housing trends and gaps in Calgary and can be used within our organization, and by other affordable housing providers in our city, to collectively help bridge these gaps”, said Sarah Woodgate, Director of Calgary Housing. “The findings reinforce the objectives in our Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy: Foundations for Home, and will guide us as we move forward with our strategy to make affordable housing more readily available to Calgarians”.
The report is the result of sector-wide collaboration between The City of Calgary and the Community Housing Affordability Collective (CHAC) and has been more than a year in the making.
“Until now, no such publication providing a spectrum-wide view on our city’s housing supply existed,” said Kim O’Brien, CEO of Horizon Housing Society and CHAC Steering Committee Co-Chair. “This is the first report of its kind in Calgary, and to our knowledge, in Canada. It will be an essential resource, used by housing providers, to guide decision making and strategic direction.”
A key recommendation from the report is to increase the supply of housing that is affordable for Calgarians of different income levels. Only 3.6 per cent of Calgary’s housing is non-market, almost half the national average of 6.0 per cent. The report also highlights the importance of a plan to support existing non-market housing as it ages, and as operating agreements expire.
Other key findings include:
- The housing supply is not affordable for many households; only half of Calgary’s households have sufficient income to buy a starter home in the condominium market, and 21 per cent of households do not have enough income to rent an average apartment.
- Calgary has the highest rents in the lowest tier of rentals. Additionally, rents in seniors’ housing complexes are also higher than average.
- Affordable housing is not geographically dispersed throughout the city. More than half of Calgary’s residential communities have no affordable housing.
- Affordable housing is not keeping pace with need. Since 2011, an average of 308 affordable housing units per year have been added to the supply; however the need is growing by 2,000 to 2,500 units per year.
- Much of Calgary’s non-market housing and rental stock is aging, and nearly 80 per cent of non-market housing developments are 25 years or older.
In 2015, the Community Housing Affordability Collective (CHAC) raised concerns about data gaps in the housing spectrum, and that no central database or publication existed with comprehensive information on all types of housing in Calgary. In response, The City conducted an updated survey in 2016 to capture the broader housing supply picture which is compiled in the report.
The complete report, Housing in Calgary: An Inventory of Housing Supply, 2015/2016 is available at calgary.ca.