About Housing Affordability

​Metro Vancouver is one of the most beautiful places in the world to live. It is also one of the most expensive. Many households face a serious shortfall between housing costs and their ability to pay. Finding housing that is affordable is particularly difficult for renters with low incomes and in certain areas of the region.

​A region-wide challenge

In 2011, one third of households in the region spent more than 30% of their household income on shelter, placing them above the threshold that is considered affordable.  Renter households are more likely to be in this situation. An estimated 45% of all renters (137,000 households) are paying more than the affordability threshold.   

Household income is a key variable affecting affordability. Metro Vancouver has a relatively low median household income compared to other metropolitan areas in Canada.  Housing that is affordable for residents who make under $30,000 per year is a particular challenge.

Metro Vancouver’s role

Metro Vancouver is committed to preserving and enhancing the supply of affordable housing and
increasing the diversity of housing choices in the region. This work includes:

• advocating to federal and provincial governments for affordable housing (including supportive and transitional housing)
• supporting municipalities to develop Housing Action Plans
• providing resources and data on affordable housing
• supporting the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation to increase the number of affordable housing units in the region

Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future (the regional growth strategy) sees affordable housing as an essential component of complete communities. Goal 4 of Metro 2040 sets out expectations for Regional Context Statements to include policies to meet estimated housing demand and for municipal Housing Action Plans.

The Regional Affordable Housing Strategy (2016) puts forwards a vision, and outlines key actions towards the goals of expanding housing supply, diversity and affordability.