Immigrants to Canada are sometimes conflated with foreigners.
This happens even though permanent residents were carefully vetted and qualified by the government as Canadian citizens in waiting.
Essentially, they are new Canadians.
Lumped together with foreigners, immigrants are also held for what some describe as the decoupling of home prices from local incomes.
What this means is that because permanent residents bring money with them, as what can be expected when households move, they are to blame for higher home prices and the worsening state of housing unaffordability.
However, this doesn’t present the whole picture.
Immigrants face housing problems too.
In fact, a recent report states that new immigrants face a higher rate of inadequate housing than the total population.
The situation is called “core housing need”.
“A household in core housing need is one whose dwelling is considered unsuitable, inadequate or unaffordable and whose income levels are such that they could not afford a different dwelling in their community that is adequate in condition and has enough bedrooms to meet their needs,” explains the report by Statistics Canada.
The report released Monday (November 22) summarizes the most recent Canadian housing survey, which was done in 2018.
In 2018, nine percent of all people living in Canada were in core housing need.
The rate is higher at 20 percent for new immigrants, whether they are homeowners or renters.
“Recent immigrants (20%) had a higher rate of core housing need than the total population,” the report states.
It adds, “This was mainly due to recent immigrant homeowners having a relatively high rate (18%) of core housing need, which may be associated with settling in cities where house prices are higher.”
It’s not a short-term situation either.
“The effects of the higher housing cost tend to persist over time, as other research shows that established immigrants have larger mortgages than Canadian-born individuals and, as a result, carry more debt,” the report notes.
Immigrants who rent are in a similar situation.
“Recent immigrants in rental dwellings had similar levels of core housing need to the total population,” the report states.
Statistics Canada also notes that based on the 2018 Canadian Housing Survey, nearly three-quarters or 73 percent of the population lived in a dwelling that was owned by a member of the household.
However, this was not the case for recent immigrants.
The report notes that less than half or 44 percent of immigrants “lived in owner households and were more likely to rent”.
Canada plans to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, plus 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023.