Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Ottawa housing stats as Council pledges help to boost numbers

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Queen's Park as part of its housing commitment has given Ottawa a target of building 151,000 new homes over the next decade, to which Council is shortly to be pledged. Housing will be a hot topic over the course of this term of Council as we seek both to achieve the ambitious new provincial target and with a particular focus on affordable and deeply affordable housing. At the doors last fall, I don't think any councillor failed to hear the clear message from residents that the housing crisis in our city must be addressed. That effort is complicated by the multiple priorities we have within the broad "more housing" goal: we desperately need safe, affordable housing for those in poverty who cannot afford market-priced housing, but there is also a need for basic housing that is affordable to residents struggling to make ends meet in the face of inflation and high interest rates. Increasing societal inequity can mean the line between those categories can be very fluid.

Recently, the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation began publishing monthly data with a greater level of detail than previously. Monthly numbers for housing starts, units under construction and completions is now being broken down for Ottawa by dwelling type with almost no lag. This should be extremely valuable for housing researchers to inform our understanding of progress on achieving the provincial target, but also provide some insight on how the objectives are being achieved in the context of our Official Plan intensification policies.

I don't intend for this post to be particularly analytical, and now that I have a structure in place that will allow tracking with low-effort updates my hope is that publishing these numbers will at least make the data more broadly available to Kitchissippi residents than having to download Excel sheets. I'm collecting the monthly data from CMHC in a Google sheet published here if anyone wants to look at the numbers. I'll let residents know when I've added new monthly data via my newsletter. This data might usefully be read in the context of the City's excellent Annual Development Report. The advantage of CMCH monthly reporting is that there is essentially no lag, but the ADR is a much more comprehensive document that tracks demographic trends as well as more granularity on what is being built where.

This page will be evergreen, and the charts below are being pulled from the most recent data. I'll add notes from time to time that (for now) I'll maintain on the page.


1. (March 18, 2023) Note that only 67 housing units were started in January 2023.


1. (March 18, 2023) Note that housing starts in January 2023 are too few to be visible in the chart. Of the 67 starts in January, 34 were single-detached homes, 30 were row homes and 3 were apartments.

2. (March 18, 2023) This is the first month for which a by-type breakdown is available, and my intention is to transition this chart to one that shows linear change as further months' data is published.

Posted March 17, 2023