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Statcan details wait times for social housing, perceptions on housing overall

The CN tower is reflected in a high rise building behind a construction crane in downtown Toronto on February 4, 2012. Matthew Boukall remembers a couple of years back at a conference in Calgary, where someone got confused over the difference between condo and rental apartment builds."People had only seen condo apartments for so long, that they forgot people built rental," said Boukall, a vice-president at real estate services firm Altus Group. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit

Results from a new national survey show that more than 283,000 households in Canada have someone on a waiting list for affordable housing.

The first-of-its-kind data from Statistics Canada also says that almost two-thirds, or 173,600 households, were on a wait list for two years or more.

And one-fifth of all those households were already living in a subsidized unit and waiting to either move to a new home, or have someone in the household move out on their own.

The survey results made public this morning coincide with “National Housing Day,” which the Liberal government used two years ago to release its decade-long housing strategy.

The head of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which oversees the strategy, says there’s a lot more work to do before meeting the goal of having every Canadian live in a home they can afford by 2030.

There are about 1.7 million households who live in what’s known as “core housing need,” meaning they live in a home that is too small or too costly.