The Knowledge to Act


Winnipeg housing: more affordable, more crowded, in greater need of repair than Canadian average

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Peg Report 29, March 23, 2017 – The percentage of Winnipeggers living in core housing need has been decreasing for the last twenty years, and is now lower than the national average and comparable to Canadian cities.

This has all been happening as the cost of housing across Canada continues to climb, and while Winnipeg’s market has not seen the same growth as bigger centres like Toronto and Vancouver, finding suitable, affordable housing remains a challenge at every income level.   

Peg tells us…

  • Between 1991 and 2011, the percentage of people living in core housing need in Winnipeg dropped from 14.6 per cent to 10.3 per cent. The majority of this decrease happened between 1996 and 2001, with only very small decreases since that time.
  • Since 1996, Winnipeg has had a smaller proportion of people in core housing need than the Canadian average. In 2011, this rate was comparable to Calgary (10 per cent) and lower than Ottawa and Edmonton (11 per cent).


  • Core housing need measures the percentage of households whose housing: i) costs more than 30 per cent of their income, ii) requires major repairs, or iii) is too small for the number of occupants, and who cannot afford to pay the median cost of rent for housing that would meet these standards.

Why does this matter?

  • Core housing need speaks to the importance of having adequate, affordable housing with sufficient space. When any or all of the above criteria for standard living conditions are not met, households have more stress placed on their resources and health.
  • More detail and source data for the above facts available at:

Source of the data:

  • Peg’s data for the Core Housing Need indicator is provided by the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (

Media inquiries:

For interviews on understanding the trend (or the story behind the numbers), organizations making a difference in the community, Peg, or the data, please contact:

Sumeep Bath, Media and Communications Officer at or (204) 958 7700 ex 740

About us:

Peg ( is a community indicator system that measures the health of our community year over year – in ways that count. Peg is led by two partnering organizations – the International Institute of Sustainable Development and United Way of Winnipeg.

Peg is the starting place for Winnipeg citizens, educators, policy makers, and many others to learn more about our city so we can lead change to create a better city for our children and their children. At Peg we can all learn how our lives, our neighbourhood and our city is changing – for the good and the bad. Learn more at

About the International Institute for Sustainable Development

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an independent think tank that delivers the knowledge to act. Our mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability. Our big-picture view allows us to address the root causes of some of the greatest challenges facing our planet today – ecological destruction, social exclusion, unfair laws and economic and social rules, a changing climate. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa and Toronto, our work impacts lives in nearly 100 countries.

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