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Affordable Housing Strategy

The affordable housing strategy brings together the work of many partners to address local need for affordable housing.

Affordable housing is housing that fits the budget of low to moderate-income households while leaving enough money for them to meet other basic living costs such as food, clothing, transportation, medical care and education.

The strategy includes work to increase the number of affordable housing units and provide a mix of housing that is appropriate for the various sizes and incomes of households in Niagara.

Housing definitions

  • Affordable housing: Rental or ownership housing that costs less than 30 per cent of a household's total annual income
  • Community housing: Usually geared toward low income households, it refers to housing that was built or funded under a range of federal, provincial or municipal housing programs and is provided to eligible tenants on the basis of defined need
  • Affordable market housing: Rental or ownership housing provided by the market for low and moderate income households
  • Attainable market housing: Rental or ownership housing provided by the market for medium income households that may be challenged to access rental and ownership options

Current housing crisis

St. Catharines has
9th highest rents in Canada

1-bed units
Median rent $1,360 up 8.8% from 2020

2-bed units
Median rent $1,640 up 14.7% from 2020

72% of housing is single detached

24,000 households need affordable housing

84% are one person households and 14% are lone parent households

What we need

To meet the forecasted demand for 2051, Niagara needs to add:

  • 44,300 single and semi-detached units
  • 27,400 row and townhouse units
  • 31,000 more apartment units

What we're doing to address the crisis

Maintaining existing community housing stock

  • 2,684 Niagara Region owned units
  • 3,659 housing provider units, 60 non-profit and co-operative housing programs
  • 1,465 rent supplement units (as of June 2020)

Developing new community housing (2021 projects)

  • Community Housing Master Plan
  • Bridge housing project in Niagara Falls
  • Supportive housing project in Niagara Falls
  • Hawkins Avenue housing project in Niagara Falls
  • Rapid housing initiative in Welland

Supporting new housing builds

Collaborating with local municipalities

  • Support planning at the municipal and neighbourhood levels through district and secondary plans
  • Use municipal lands for affordable housing development
  • Work together on housing projects, such as bridge housing, supportive housing, and other projects that have benefitted from municipal contributions of land, buildings and incentives


  • Incorporate new types of housing, such as modular construction and micro-condominiums
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