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Winnipeggers’ Need for Better Quality, More Affordable Housing Increases for First Time Since 1996

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WINNIPEG, December 12, 2017—The number of Winnipeggers in "core housing need" increased to 12.1 per cent in 2016, up from 10.3 per cent in 2011. This is according to new data released by Peg. 

"Core housing need" measures the percentage of households within a city whose housing either: i) costs them more than 30 per cent of their income; ii) requires major repairs; or iii) is not big enough for their family size.

What else can Peg tell us about core housing need in Winnipeg?

Peg tells us…

  • Winnipeg’s core housing need increased by 17 per cent between 2011 and 2016.
  • Winnipeg has a lower rate of core housing need than the Canadian national rate (12.7 per cent), largely due to the affordability of housing. A total of 68.7 per cent of households in core housing are unaffordable, versus 76.1 per cent in Canada. If housing prices in Winnipeg were to increase to a level more in line with other major Canadian cities, the rate of households in core housing need would likely jump.
  • Compared to Canada as a whole, more Winnipeggers can afford their homes, but a higher percentage of people live in crowded homes (7.2 per cent) and in homes needing major repairs (5.2 per cent).
  • An additional 18.9 per cent of households in core housing need do not meet two or more of the standards of adequacy, suitability and affordability.
Graph showing core housing need in Winnipeg
Winnipeg’s core housing need increased by 17 per cent between 2011 and 2016.


  • The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) defines a household as being in core housing need if it is “unable to afford shelter that meets adequacy, suitability, and affordability norms.” The norms have been adjusted over time to reflect the housing expectations of Canadians. 
  • Affordability, one of the elements used to determine core housing need, is recognized as “a maximum of 30 per cent of the household income spent on shelter” (
  • A household is considered adequate if it does not require major repairs. 
  • Suitability refers to having enough bedrooms for the size and makeup of households.
  • This indicator does not include individuals that are homeless.


Why does this matter?

  • Adequate, suitable and affordable housing is a crucial basic need.
  • Individuals in core housing need are unable to meet one of these three standards, thereby placing a large stress on their resources and health (HRSDC, 2011). 
  • As housing costs often account for significant portions of household budgets, these costs could make the difference between comfortably meeting basic needs and substantial financial stress (HRSDC, 2011).


Source of the data:


Media inquiries:

For interviews on understanding the trend (or the story behind the numbers), organizations making a difference in the community, Peg, or the data, please contact:

Sumeep Bath, Media and Communications Officer

International Institute for Sustainable Development

(204) 958-7700 ext. 740 |


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Twitter: @Pegindicators

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About us:

Peg ( is a community indicator system that measures the health of our community year over year—in ways that count. Peg is led by two partnering organizations—the International Institute for Sustainable Development and United Way Winnipeg.

Peg is the starting place for Winnipeg citizens, educators, policy-makers and many others to learn more about our city so we can lead change to create a better city for our children and their children. Through Peg, we can all learn how our lives, our neighbourhoods and our city are changing. Learn more at

About the International Institute for Sustainable Development

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an independent think tank that delivers the knowledge to act. Our mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability. Our big-picture view allows us to address the root causes of some of the greatest challenges facing our planet today – ecological destruction, social exclusion, unfair laws and economic and social rules, a changing climate. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa and Toronto, our work impacts lives in nearly 100 countries.

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