Core Housing Need

See SDG1 – No Poverty and SDG11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities

Status: breakthrough needed


Percentage of households in core housing need.

*A household is said to be in core housing need if it falls below at least one of the three standards:

  • adequacy
  • affordability
  • suitability

And it would have to spend 30% or more of its total before-tax income to pay the median rent of alternative local housing that is acceptable (meets all three housing standards).


Everyone can afford an adequate and suitable home spending less than 30% of its income.


According to the City of London3, almost half of all renters (46.4%) are in core housing need. A report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives states that:

The percentage of households experiencing core housing need in London, ON, increased from 11.90 percent in 1991 to 12.87 percent in 2011. The total number of households experiencing core housing need increased by 7,185 during this 20-year period. The 1991–2011 trend suggests no foreseeable end to core housing need.1

Core housing need in London, Ontario according to most recent data available in June 2020. The rate for indigenous peoples is more than double the general population. The rate for newcomers is more than triple of the general population:

General Population12.8%

In the 2016 census, the rate of core housing need in London was 1.2% higher than the national average:

London’s affordable housing crisis is only expected to get worse with COVID-19’s impact on the economy.4

Affordability is the main reason to be in core housing need in Ontario:5


Related indicators

  • Living Wage
  • Sense of Belonging

Local Initiatives

  1. City of London. Finding Social and Affordable Housing:
  2. Homes Unlimited:
  3. Indwell:
  4. London Community Foundation. Affordable Housing Fund:
  5. London & Middlesex Community Housing (LMCH):

Supporting Evidence

  1. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Addressing Core Housing Need in Canada:
  2. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Core Housing Need: National Housing Day – London CMA:
  3. City of London. London’s Housing Profile at a Glance (2016):
  4. London Community Foundation. LCF urges developers of affordable housing to respond to London’s growing housing crisis:
  5. London Housing Advisory Committee. Meeting Presentation:
  6. Ontario. Housin Needs in Ontario :

Data Tables

  1. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Characteristics of Households in Core Housing Need: Canada, P/T, CMAs:
  2. Statistics Canada. Core Housing Need: