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 (Monday (wfh) 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 policy 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: 

Conference Board of Canada
their Metropolitan Research section has topics such as metropolitan housing starts by the month, quarterly metropolitan outlooks for major cities. Some reports require creating an account (and others are very expensive, but you can always ask me)

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

 Metro Vancouver
"federation of 21 municipalities, one Electoral Area and one Treaty First Nation that collaboratively plans for and delivers regional-scale services"
Housing Policy Review Summary

Centre for Urban and Community Studies (University of Toronto) Archived site
see also UofT's School of Cities with City Research Insights

Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate (UBC)
Discussion paper (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 Reports and Surveys
    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 2021 (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) and Historical Data

    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 The State of Homelessness in Canada (latest 2016) and a section on Policy Briefs 

    2020 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver  and 2018 Youth Homeless count (MetroVancouver, their latest)
    Homeless Count (City of Vancouver) 2020
    Homeless Counts (BC Housing) 2020 and 2021 listings by communities


    Outside of Canada

    International House Price Database 
    Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

    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 [online and print]
    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]
    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

    Back to Urban Studies
    Back to Public Policy