Immigrants, recent and old, therefore constitute a large proportion of households in Metro Vancouver considered to be at-risk of homelessness.
Analysis conducted by Robert Fiedler revealed that, in 2001, "29.1% of persons in households..Greater Vancouver are below more than one CMHC housing standard, indicating that..households not only must spend an unsustainably high proportion of their income on shelter costs, but must also live in overcrowded and/or substandard conditions to access housing".
Only 11.3% and 4.8% of Canadian born households exceeded the 30% and 50% thresholds, respectively.
Heather Smith and David Ley found that in Canada's gateway cities, "the appreciable growth of the low-income population during the 1990s was almost entirely attributable to the growing poverty of recent immigrants".
Although many new immigrants to Canada come from educated backgrounds, many having bachelor's degrees, they are paid less on average than Canadian born individuals and "Over the past 25 years, the incomes of recent immigrants to Canada have progressively declined relative to the native-born." Recently, the City of Vancouver released a new strategy targeting homelessness and affordable housing.
The strategy will be enacted in 2012 and will run until 2021, with the goal of ending street homelessness completely by 2015, as well as increasing affordable housing choices for all Vancouverites.
Furthermore, low vacancy rates in Vancouver's market rental stock, a decreasing new supply of apartments in recent decades, and a widening gap of household incomes and housing prices are just a few challenges that must be overcome.
The core housing need model, developed by the CMHC, uses a threshold of households spending at least 30% of their income on shelter costs to illuminate households experiencing acute housing affordability needs.
"Moving from the 30% shelter cost-to-income ratio (STIR) used in the core housing need model, to a 50% threshold, typically reduces the number of households identified by more than half." In 2001, Statistics Canada published a study using both the 30% and 50% thresholds to identify renters and homeowners facing unaffordable housing costs in Metro Vancouver.
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The Demographics of Metropolitan Vancouver (Greater Vancouver Regional District) concern population growth and structure for Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.