Market Intelligence
Design and Construction Canada

Canada Northern Affordable Housing

Northern Canada, particularly north of the 60-degree parallel, is a region that experiences unique challenges given its geography, climate, and remote location.  Housing security has especially become a major concern for the territorial governments in Northern Canada.  This region is represented by three territories: Northwest Territories; Nunavut; and Yukon.  The region accounts for approximately 40% of Canada’s land mass and is home to 150,000 people (less than 1% of Canada’s population).

According to the Nunavut Housing Corporation, Government of Yukon, and Government of Northwest Territories, Northerners confront a broad range of housing security issues, including: affordable housing; high rents; housing shortages; low variety of housing types; aging infrastructure; and bureaucratic hurdles to access housing.

According to the Government of Canada, housing conditions across the North vary by territory and region.  To ensure the cultural and regional appropriateness of new and renovated housing projects, it is crucial for the industry to establish connections with communities, aiming to gain a deep understanding of the unique housing requirements. In the western Arctic, the region is more conducive to the use of local resources, road transportation networks, and longer building seasons. By contrast, eastern Arctic communities depend on materials transported by ship or plane and have only a few months each year suitable for construction.

Each territory has established its own priorities and actions plans for housing in Northern Canada. These resources can be viewed below:

Funding and investments in housing have historically been a challenge in Northern Canada. However, Budget 2022 proposes to allocate $150 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to support affordable housing and related infrastructure in the North. Of this amount, $60 million will be provided to the Government of Nunavut, $60 million to the Government of the Northwest Territories, and $30 million to the Government of Yukon.

Given the short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals aimed at enhancing housing accessibility in Northern Canada, it is important for U.S. manufacturers specializing in affordable housing infrastructure and equipment to be aware of the potential opportunities to contribute to the reduction of housing insecurity in the North.  U.S firms offering smart housing solutions for harsh climates will be in high demand.  The U.S. Commercial Service in Canada is closely following the developments in this sector. We stand ready to support advocacy strategies and export promotion efforts. For further information, please contact: 

Commercial Specialist