Affordable housing in Canada
Affordability of housing in Canada presents a complex paradox. By 2004 1.7 million Canadians had housing affordability issues, yet Canada is considered to be among the more affordable places to live, using a market-oriented analyses of affordability such as those provided by the Royal Bank of Canada. Canadian government public policies intervene when affordability of housing is stressed to the point home ownership becomes inaccessible even to individuals with full-time employment. The continuum of affordable housing in Canada includes market (affordable rental housing, affordable home ownership), non-market (affordable rental housing, affordable home ownership), Government Subsidized Housing (Emergency Shelters, Transitional Housing and Social Housing). Measuring affordability of housing is complicated by Canada's vast physical and human geography which includes remote northern communities and affluent urban regions. Housing prices and construction costs have risen dramatically in Canada as they have elsewhere in the world. Income levels in the upper quintile have increased exponentially while those in lower quintiles have remained stagnant. The rising inequality gap presents a significant challenge for Canadian households who are ""priced out of rental and ownership housing markets.