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CMHC Releases 2005 Report on the State of Canada's Housing

OTTAWA, Ontario, December 7, 2005 — Housing continued to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy in 2004, supported by high levels of new construction, renovation and sales of existing homes according to the latest edition of the Canadian Housing Observer.

The third edition of the Observer, an annual review of the state of Canada's housing, was released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). It provides a comprehensive statistical portrait of how well Canadians are housed and charts the key developments affecting this important sector of Canada's economy.

"The Observer is a valuable resource for anyone with an interest or involvement in housing," said Karen Kinsley, President of CMHC. "It provides information and analysis to assess how well the housing sector is performing and where some of the key challenges are."

Two new sections have been added to the 2005 edition. One is devoted to Aboriginal housing, and the housing conditions and challenges facing Aboriginal peoples. It explores some of the innovative ways these challenges are being addressed by Aboriginal communities.

The second is dedicated to healthy housing and sustainable communities, a subject particularly important as housing is a major consumer of resources for construction, maintenance and operation. The chapter focuses on how housing and residential communities that are designed and built to be sustainable can contribute in a positive way to the environment and improve Canadians' quality of life.

The 2005 Observer contains updated statistics on core housing need. The revised estimates show that 1.48 million or 13.7 per cent of Canadian Households were in core housing need in 2001, down from 1.57 million or 15.6 per cent of households in 1996.

The statistical information assembled in the 2005 Observer underscores both the economic vitality of the housing sector in recent years as well as ongoing challenges in the area of affordable housing. While broad improvements in housing affordability have been recorded since the mid-1990s, almost 1.5 million households continue to face challenges in obtaining acceptable housing that meets their needs.

The analysis contained in the Observer is backed by a series of statistical tables, which provide detailed information on housing conditions and trends in Canada, provinces and territories, and major urban centres. The publication and related housing statistics are available on CMHC's website.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada's national housing agency. For close to 60 years, CMHC has been contributing to improving the living conditions and the well-being of Canadians through four areas of housing activities — housing finance, assisted housing, research and information transfer, and export promotion. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, and making vibrant and sustainable communities a reality across the country.

For more information, please contact:

Leigh Howell
(613) 748-2326

Public inquiries:

1 800 668-2642

2005 Canadian Housing Observer

Key Findings

Canada's Housing: Influences on Housing Demand

Current Housing Market Developments

Trends in Housing Finance

Aboriginal Housing

Healthy Housing and Sustainable Communities

Housing Affordability