New Poll: Canadians overwhelmingly support a new benefit to increase rent-support for low-income people

Nearly one-quarter of Canadians concerned about paying housing costs next month

Calgary, Alberta – New poll results released today by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) show that an overwhelming majority of Canadians (69.5 per cent) support the implementation of a federal Homelessness Prevention and Housing Benefit (HPHB).

This comes at a time when concern about housing costs is growing. According to the same poll, 24 per cent of Canadians reported concern about paying housing costs next month, up nine per cent from 2021.  

The poll, conducted by Nanos Research between January 27th and 30th, shows that Canadians are increasingly concerned about rising homelessness across the country, with 74 per cent of people believing that homelessness is increasing in their own community. In addition to this, a majority (55 per cent) believe that more funding for ending homelessness is important in the upcoming federal budget. 

“Canadians are seeing the impact of rising homelessness in their communities, and they want action,” said Tim Richter, President and CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. “We are heartened that the results of this poll show that an overwhelming majority of Canadians support the implementation of this benefit. They want the federal government to take immediate steps to ensure everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home and address the wave of new homelessness that people are seeing in their communities.” 

The Alliance’s Homelessness Prevention and Housing Benefit proposal is aimed at providing immediate rental relief to households at risk of homelessness and reducing pressure on Canada’s overwhelmed homeless systems. The benefit would provide rent support for up to 385,000 households at high risk of homelessness and help up to 50,000 people leave homelessness. 

Concerningly, the poll also demonstrates housing insecurity is impacting more and more Canadians and the need for immediate action has never been more pressing. This concern is higher for young people, with 31.3 per cent of those aged 18-34 as being concerned about these costs. 

“The federal government has an opportunity to take a bold step forward and provide much-needed support to low-income Canadians,” said Richter. “Canadians want the government to do this right now. The cost of inaction will far outweigh the cost of preventing homelessness now.” 

CAEH is urging the federal government to include the Homelessness Prevention and Housing Benefit in the upcoming budget, to take immediate steps to support low-income Canadians and prevent homelessness. 

View the full poll results here.

Watch the video of our polling results webinar

Download the presentation on the benefit here and the presentation on the polling here

The CAEH invites members of the public and organizations to send a message to key ministers in support of the Homelessness Prevention and Housing Benefit on our website: 

About the poll: 

Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,054 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between January 27th and 30th, 2022 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land- and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada. The margin of error for this survey is ±3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. This study was commissioned by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness and the research was conducted by Nanos Research.