Affordable Housing

FRPO aims to keep landlords and tenants informed about issues and advancements with respect to affordable housing. We invite you to view the articles below to learn more about this important issue.

Affordable Housing – General Policy Papers


July 2015
Removing Barriers to New Rental Housing in Ontario
Every household in Ontario should have access to safe and stable housing that is affordable at every income level. The government and rental housing providers each have a role to play to improve access to affordable rental housing, yet supply has not kept up with demand. This paper outlines proposals that are an achievable and affordable way for the government to stimulate the development of new rental housing.
June 2013
Affordable Housing in Ontario: Mobilizing Private Capital in an Era of Public Constraint
By: Andre Cote & Howard Tam (Munk School of Global Affairs)
This paper explores policies to enhance affordable housing supply, including an improved rent dispute process, expedited property tax equalization and enhanced financing for repairs and retrofits of apartment buildings.
September 2010
Increasing the Affordability of Rental Housing in Canada
Affordable housing, as currently financed by federal, provincial, and often municipal governments, relies on large, up-front capital grants, which put undue pressure on current government budgets. There is thus a need to consider alternative financing mechanisms, particularly tax expenditures, and other supply-side measures to encourage an increase in the stock of multi-unit rental accommodation and to make such housing more affordable.
May 2008
Housing Industry Poverty Reduction Strategy
To be effective, a renewed affordable housing and poverty reduction strategy for Ontario must focus its scarce resources on the primary sources of housing affordability problems: the inadequate incomes of many core need households who already have suitable and adequate housing; government barriers to housing supply; and the unfavourable tax treatment of low-income renters.
May 2008
Ontario Income and Housing Affordability Trends
New Data from the 2006 Census and Statscan SLID series
January 2005
The Affordability of Housing in Ontario
This paper has examined trends in the affordability of housing in Ontario over the past 20 to 40 years, and the primary factors influencing these trends, including a detailed review of trends in the two variables used in housing affordability indicators: household incomes and housing costs.
July 2002
Housing: An Income Issue
Sophie Lefebvre
This article examines how Canadians were housed in 2000. What percentage lived in owner-occupied homes? Were their homes in good condition? Was the size suitable for their needs? And, what proportion of their income was spent on housing?
July 1996
What has Happend to the Bottom of the U.S. Housing Market?
Housing quality has improved dramatically for most low-income households, but they are paying much larger shares of their income for it. Many discussions of the bottom of the market focus on either the rising costs (the ` bad’ news) or the rising quality (the ` good’ news). Both points of view have some merit. This paper takes a positivist approach to the question: what’ s happening to the bottom of the housing market?
June 1993
The Cost of a Shelter Allowance Program for Ontario
By Clayton Research Associates Ltd.
This paper provides an independent estmate of the costs of a general shelter allowance program for Ontario.
January 1985
Housing Allowances: An Assessment of a Proposal for a National Program for Canada
Marion Steele
A study on how a well-targeted housing program can be a cost-effective way to provide shelter cost assistance to low income households, based on the experience of existing provicnial programs.

Shelter Allowance & Housing Benefits

November 2008
A Housing Benefit for Ontario
Hundreds of thousands of poor people in Ontario – whether they work or receive social assistance – spend more than half their income on shelter. This is a proposal to address this feature of poverty in Ontario by designing a new housing benefit.
January 2008
What do various organizations say about housing allowances?
Portable housing allowances are advocated by the many organizations from all sides of the housing and poverty debate.
November 2007
Just Suppose: Housing Subsidies for Low-Income Renters
John M. Quigley
What housing policies would we create if we were starting from scratch? This paper focuses on subsidies for rental housing.
February 2007
Canadian Housing Allowances
Marion Steele
Housing allowances in Canada are offered by only four provinces. The absence of a national allowance should not be too surprising in a country where there is really no such thing as national housing policy for low-income housing.
December 2006
Housing Allowance Options for Canada
A housing allowance is an appealing policy option because core housing need in Canada results primarily from lack of affordability rather than from poor quality housing.
June 2004
Quebec’s Housing Allowance Program
In the early 1980s Quebec first ventured into the housing allowances arena by
establishing a program for the elderly, called Logirente, which followed the general Canadian rent and income-conditions formula giving people cash once they have submitted evidence that they are spending a certain sum on housing.
May 2002
The design of this program is contrasted with the US housing allowance, the Section 8 voucher.
June 1993
The Cost of a Shelter Allowance Program for Ontario
October 1986
A New Rental Policy for Ontario
R. Andrew Muller
This paper presents the best strategy for Ontario to follow in resolving problems in the rental housing market.
January 1985
Housing Allowances: An Assessment of a National Program for Canada
Dr. Marion Steele
A study on how a well-targeted housing allowance program can provide cost-effective shelter cost assistance for low income households, based on experiences with existing provincial programs.
April 1982
Experimenting with Housing Allowances
Ira S. Lowry
A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development study on how a full-scale permanent housing allowance program would affect housing markets.

Build New vs. Allowances for Affordable Housing

June 2001
Voucher Policy from the Perspective of a Taxpayer Who Wants to Help Low-Income Households
By Ed Olsen
The role of housng vouchers in assisting low-income households.
December 2000
The Cost Effectiveness of Alternative Methods of Delivering Housing Subsidies
By Edgar O. Olsen
This paper discusses the reasons to expect that project-based housing assistance will be cost-ineffective compared with tenant-based vouchers.
January 1999
Cost-Effective Housing Assistance
By Greg Lampert
A comparison of the costs of building new non-profit housing vs. shelter allowances.
October 1993
Comparison of the Long-Term Cost of Shelter Allowances and Non-Profit Housing
By Clayton Research Associates
The study compares the cost of assisting 1,000 needy renters with non-profit housing in Toronto versus shelter allowances over the next 50 years.