Rental Vacancy Rates Dip in Eastern Ontario. This ‘Bold’ Regional Plan Could Help

Published by the CBC – February 01, 2023

Rural municipalites in eastern Ontario are planning to build 7,000 community housing units over seven years to address rising rental vacancy rates. The vacancy rate in Ottawa’s rental market dropped from 3.4% in 2021 to 2.1% in 2022, with migration playing a significant role. The return of university students has also impacted vacancy rates, with areas like Sandy Hill and Lowertown experiencing a drop from 5.3% to 2.1%.

As vacancy rates decrease, rents have risen, with the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment increasing by 4.8%. The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus has developed a plan to build 7,000 community housing units over seven years, estimated to cost $3.1 billion. The plan will require funding from all levels of government, but early reactions have been positive. In Gatineau, migration has driven the vacancy rate even further from 1.1% to 0.8%, indicating that an “acceleration of the building in the rental market” will be necessary.

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