Canada's youth housing Study: Share the future of Youth Housing now

5.5 million young Canadians are waiting to be heard

Affordable housing may be a hot topic, but when it comes to information on the housing situation for young people in Canada, we’re flying blind.

Canada is facing a national housing crisis—both about the availability and affordability of homes. Cost, inventory, housing form, location; all sectors and factors in Canada’s housing calculus are being called into question and under pressure.

But absent from the housing conversation are young Canadians. And that should be a concern for all of us.

The housing crisis significantly affects 5.5 million Canadians aged 18 to 29. 
Young people venturing into higher education, full-time jobs, and adulthood find themselves unable to comfortably and sustainably live in Canadian urban hubs. 

Financial constraints caused by disproportionate rent-to-income ratios force young people to stay home longer or live further away from the city core. This dispersion increases youth social isolation and exacerbates mental health concerns already heightened by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, taxes city infrastructure via extended commutes, and diminishes downtown economic growth due to labour shortages. 

It’s bad news for youth. For cities. And for governments and building owners.

Knowledge is power: It’s time to hear from young Canadians.
Housing research typically focuses on homeowners. But most young people aren’t homeowners. 

We’ve been missing an opportunity to hear about all aspects of youth housing — from time spent living at home and housing costs to the impact of housing stresses on young people’s professional lives and mental wellbeing.

To address this data gap, Youthful Cities has launched the Young Canadians’ voices on Housing, a study designed to bring to light youth housing realities and aspirations. The study will analyze youth housing situations and experiences in the 15 most populated Canadian cities. A more complete data set regarding youth housing should inform local and national policy development and housing programs.

We are not doing it alone. We’ve partnered with CMHC, Canadian Urban Institute, Generation Squeeze, Smart Prosperity Institute, National Student Housing Initiative, and UofT School of Cities. 

And now, hopefully, you!

Here is the survey. Please share it as widely as possible.