Urban Housing Policy


This web page is intended to help you find information on urban housing policy.   If you need help, please contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian, at 778.782.5043 (Tuesdays and Thursdays) (Monday to Thursday) or nsmart@sfu.ca . In addition, assistance with microdata queries is available at  data-services@sfu.ca.


Government and association sites

Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM)
"a common voice for local government"
Start with their  Housing strategy page for an overview of federal and provincial government initiatives - includes policy papers and resources

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
Canada's national housing agency, including:

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
Think tank, with housing reports and studies such as: 

Canadian Rental Housing Index
"compiled using data from the 2016 long-form census, obtained through a Statistics Canada custom data request"
Developed by the BC Non-Profit Housing Association and VanCity

School of Cities (University of Toronto) with City Research Insights policy briefs

Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate (UBC)
Discussion papers (scroll down past Research)

Statistics and microdata


Start with: What is the difference between Data and Statistics? Michigan State University


Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)
producing "accurate, up-to-date information and analysis on economic issues"
Housing Market Stats section includes Monthly Stats, national and regional statistics, and the National Price Map

Royal LePage Market Updates
Includes the quarterly House Price Survey, regional market/city surveys

A portal of downloadable statistics. Sample Search: Vancouver housing
Examples: Residential Housing in Canada (Dossier) and
Rental vacancy rates in British Columbia 2000 to 2022 (Graph based on CMHC information)

(Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences) Data Centre, University of Toronto
Census  and financial information 

Bank of Canada
"Canada's central bank"
Real Estate Market (based on StatsCan and CMHC tables)

Statistics Canada: Housing Statistics
including CMHC Housing Data Tables 
example: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, average rents for areas with a population of 10,000 and over 
(Table: 34-10-0133-01, formerly CANSIM 027-0040)

Related video: Housing Now: How New Census Data Will Shape the Canadian Housing Landscape UBC's Housing Research Collaborative

Canda Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Housing Data BC Housing


Canadian Observatory on Homelessness 
"largest national research institute devoted to homelessness in Canada"
Their Homeless Hub includes Publications such as Making the Shift (2022) Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab report, and a section on Policy Briefs 

2023 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver  
Homeless Counts (BC Housing) 2020 and 2021 listings by communities


Outside of Canada

International House Price Database 
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Sage Data Planet (formerly Data Planet)
"public, private and commercial sources of standardized and structured statistical data"  many American resources - for instance Zillow Real Estate Metrics - but Canadian content being added constantly


Abacus Data Network 
Research data repository run by the British Columbia Research Libraries' Data Services

For Data and GIS questions send contact our data team at data-services@sfu.ca

Books, reports and government documents


Still renovating: a history of Canadian social housing policy [print and online]
Houses and homes: housing for Canadians [print]
Canadian urban regions: trajectories of growth and change [print]
In defense of housing: the politics of crisis [print and online]
Building a co-operative community in public housing: the case of the Atkinson Housing Co-operative [print and online] Chapter 1 "Canadian Public Housing Policy and Programs"
Municipal-federal-provincial relations in Canada [print]
Gentrification [print  and online]

Other recommended titles:

Neoliberal housing policy: an international perspective [print and online]
Remaking housing policy: an international study [print and online]
The Routledge handbook of housing policy and planning [online]


You can find more monographs in the Catalogue under Subjects such as:

Housing policy -- Canada
Housing policy -- British Columbia -- Vancouver
Housing policy -- Canada -- History 
Housing -- Canada
Homelessness -- Canada

For Canadian and international government and think tank reports: Policy Commons

Further resources and tools

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