Montreal is experiencing a housing crisis. While the exact definition varies depending on who you ask, a housing crisis is commonly defined as an area experiencing scarce supplies of affordable dwellings. In Montreal, and other major cities in Canada, like Toronto and Vancouver, affordable housing is becoming harder to find and the increase in houselessness is cause for concern. (1)
On this page, we’ll explore the causes of Montreal’s housing crisis, and what YOU can do to help!
Montreal’s Housing Context in a Couple Numbers
- 1. Percentage of households in “core housing need”:
- a. In Canada: 9.8% of Canadian households are in core housing need. (2,3)
- b. In Quebec: 5.4% of Québecers are in core housing need (4)
- c. In Montreal: 10.9% of residents are considered in core housing need. (5)
- 2. Number of people experiencing houselessness: (6)
- a. In Canada: 35,000 people experience houselessness on any given night.
- b. In Quebec: 5,789 people experience houselessness on any given night
- c. In Montreal: 3,016 people experience houselessness on any given night (7)
Core Housing Need and Houselessness
Montreal is experiencing two major housing issues that you likely encountered when living here. First, there is a lack of affordable housing as 10.9% of Montreal’s households are considered to be in what is called “core housing need”, which exceeds Canada’s national average. Second, Montreal is disproportionately affected by houselessness as it accounts for more than half of Quebec’s houseless population, while only housing less than a quarter of people living in the province. These two issues are intrinsically linked and are best explained through two lenses. There is an economic explanation behind Montreal’s housing crisis that can be traced to poor governmental policy, and there are unavoidable social inequalities plaguing Montreal’s housing crisis that overly impact marginalised groups.
When it comes to unaffordable housing and houselessness, Montreal exceeds the Canadian national average. The issue stems from poor federal economic policies, but disproportionately affects marginalised groups and lower-income neighbourhoods. Additionally, the encroaching gentrification of various areas in Montreal exacerbates both unaffordable housing and houselessness.