fACTivist Feature Article: Addressing Racialized Populations’ Barriers to Affordable Housing

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Sydney Sheloff and Brett Lambert, Edmonton Social Planning Council
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Among Canadians who experience homelessness or housing instability, there is a disproportionate number who come from racialized populations—this can include Indigenous peoples, refugees, and newcomers alike. According to data collected by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness’ Homeless Hub, the disparities are glaring.

For comparison, about 1 in 5 racialized families in Canada will live in poverty, while only 1 in 20 non-racialized families experience poverty. [1] Among populations experiencing homelessness, 28.2% of them are members of racialized groups, compared to the Canadian average of 19.1%. [1] While Indigenous peoples make up only 4.3% of the overall Canadian population, they comprise 30.6% of the youth homelessness population. [1]

For refugees and newcomers to Canada, one of the biggest challenges is finding housing that is safe, suitable, and affordable. Across Canada, visible minorities make up 40% of renters in affordable and social housing (compared to 32% in market rentals and 23% in home ownership) while Indigenous peoples make up 9.4% of renters in affordable and social housing (compared to 3.8% of market rentals and 3.1% of home ownership). [2]

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