Housing crisis affects Canadians' decision to start families - report

Many cannot afford to have children amidst the current state of the housing market

Housing crisis affects Canadians' decision to start families -  report

With the current rental housing crisis felt all over the country, many Canadians in their 20s and 30s were delaying having children, as reported in an article by CBC News.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s January rental market report, vacancy rates have seen a new record low while average rent increases saw a new record high. 

An analysis by CBC News also found that in more than 1,000 neighbourhoods across the largest cities in Canada, less than 1% of rentals were both vacant and affordable to most renters. Rentals with multiple bedrooms were also more costly, leading to many families in crammed spaces while others are left with no choice but to delay starting their own families.

The article further noted several individuals who shared how despite their dreams of having a large family, they are unable to do so because they cannot afford it.

While Statistics Canada had reported that the country’s total fertility rate significantly dropped in 2022, affordability concerns were also a big factor why many Canadians were not having children. It further shared that about 38% of adults aged from 20 to 29 said that they do not believe they can afford to have a child within the next three years.

Last year, a study by Abacus Data and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) found that 55% of Canadians from the age of 18 to 34 admitted that the current housing crisis had significantly affected their decision when it comes to starting a family.

About 28% of them also said that they were postponing having children despite wanting to start a family all because of the housing affordability crisis. Meanwhile, 27% chose either not to have kids at all or have fewer children because of it as well.

“Financial costs are higher, social supports are lower, perceived rewards may be fewer — parenting itself has changed to become much more intensive and consuming,” said University of Saskatchewan Professor and Department Head of Psychology and Health Studies Karen Lawson.

“The alternative options for fulfilment have never been greater or more accessible,” she added.