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How the Nation’s Capital is Tackling Affordable Housing

It is no surprise that Canada has been going through an affordable housing crisis, but how is it affecting Ottawa consumers specifically? When is the ideal time for them to buy or sell?

We will be breaking down all aspects of the housing crisis impacting Ottawans and what measures the local government is taking. 




The Canadian Housing Crisis

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average price of a Canadian home has risen over 30% between July 2019 and July 2021. For years people across Canada have been dealing with a shortage of affordable housing. A leading factor to the ongoing crisis is the lack of supply, which then results in the remaining houses on the market becoming overvalued - because the demand outweighs the supply. What once started as an issue affecting major cities now affects the whole country. 

With affordable housing being a crucial topic in the recent September 2021 Federal Election, the current government has promised to build, preserve, or repair 1.4 million homes in four years, as well as increase funding for the National Housing Co-Investment fund to $2.7 billion in four years. 


Current State of the Crisis in Ottawa

According to data from the Ottawa Real Estate Board, the average home price in the month of September in 2019 was $486,828. In 2021, this skyrocketed to $702,155 - roughly a 44% increase in just two years. With the average home costing as much as it does, most city residents cannot afford a home on their own. As the average price of homes in Canada continues to increase, the housing market in Ottawa reflects the same upward pressure on prices.

Solving the Crisis in Ottawa

As of September 8th, Ottawa’s City Council approved a plan to provide funding towards affordable housing. The total funding available to the city in 2021 to respond to the crisis is over $44 million. Their goal is to create 295 units of affordable housing, which includes 174 supportive units. This plan will also provide funds to invest in different housing providers, which will help generate the total developed properties across Ottawa to 1,730 units.

In this year’s city budget, the following has already been committed to addressing the crisis:

  • $5 million focused on affordable housing in Beacon Hill, which will also provide new space for the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard.

  •  $4.7 million in funding from the Province’s Priorities Housing Initiative, alongside $750,000 promised by the city for a Black-led family housing pilot.

  • $2.7 million to help continue an ongoing project with the Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation. 


Navigating the Current Market in Ottawa

There is no better time to sell your home in this hot seller’s market, but this type of market condition makes it tougher to buy a home due to lack of inventory which drives multiple offers and increases in prices.  

Depending on when you bought your current home, selling in today’s market could lead to substantial profit that will assist in funding your future home. It is important to keep in mind, that regardless of the upside of profitability of selling your home, it will not be easy finding your next home. Demand heavily outweighs the supply across Canada, especially in Ottawa. Looking for an affordable housing option will require more time and patience than selling your current property in Ottawa’s housing market.