Vital Signs of Greater Montreal

November 22, 2022 •  By Cristina Roque
Illustration édifices Signes vitaux

FGM and Centraide release the Vital Signs report on housing in Greater Montreal

Montreal, November 22, 2022 – This morning, the Foundation of Greater Montreal (FGM) and Centraide of Greater Montreal released a new Vital Signs of Greater Montreal report on the situation of housing in the Montreal metropolitan area. The study by the Institut du Québec examines the availability and affordability of housing for Montreal households and families. It also maps out the sectors and groups most vulnerable to the housing crisis that has once again taken hold in Montreal and across Quebec.

Some key findings

  • Of all groups, low-income people, renters, single-parent families, people living alone, visible minorities and immigrants face the greatest housing challenges. 
  • 71% of low-income people in the Greater Montreal area live in unaffordable housing—that is, housing that is too expensive for their means and absorbs more than 30% of their income.
  • The rental market is under pressure. Over the past five years, the average cost of housing has increased by 20% in Greater Montreal.
  • Large two- and three-bedroom dwellings for families are particularly scarce. Their vacancy rate is 2.1%, well below the 3% level which is considered a balanced market.


“The housing crisis is a critical problem that affects all facets of quality of life: safety, physical and mental health, poverty and isolation, food security, educational success and many others,” explains FGM’s President and CEO Karel Mayrand. “With high inflation and a looming recession, even more families will be unable to make ends meet, and some may end up on the street. Our community must act, starting from the idea that housing is a fundamental right.”

“Housing has a direct impact on poverty and social exclusion,” notes Claude Pinard, President and Executive Director, Centraide of Greater Montreal. “Many people in the Greater Montreal area are spending too much of their income on rent. They do so at great sacrifice. People deserve to live in dignity. They need an effective response to the current crisis. This study contains essential data and gives us a granular picture of the situation which will support the search for real solutions.”

“Having access to very detailed new data on Montrealers’ incomes and housing costs enables us to pinpoint problems affecting specific neighbourhoods and populations,” says Emna Braham, Executive Director of the Institut du Québec. “This innovative approach will facilitate more targeted efforts to effectively help the Montrealers who need it most.”

Main highlights and the full report are freely available on FGM’s website.

“We hope that the publication of this Vital Signs of Greater Montreal report will help alert public authorities and the entire community to the urgency of the situation,” says Karel Mayrand. “Many solutions exist, but to implement them we must all work together. Decent housing for everyone is an ambitious societal goal but one that deserves to be energetically pursued. It’s time to roll up our sleeves.”

About the Foundation of Greater Montreal

The Foundation of Greater Montreal (FGM) serves, and listens to, its community. In collaboration with its partners, it mobilizes philanthropic resources, disseminates knowledge, sparks new initiatives, and supports the community, with a view to furthering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in Greater Montreal. FGM aspires to the development of a community that will be free from poverty and discrimination, where all can realize their potential and live in a healthy environment, both today and in the future. Website:

About Centraide of Greater Montreal

Centraide of Greater Montreal is a real change agent serving Laval, Montreal and the South Shore. It provides ongoing support for a network of more than 350 agencies and joint projects every year. Centraide receives funding from businesses and organizations as well as from the general public. It invests the money it raises based on a needs analysis conducted in each of the neighbourhoods and communities in the territories it serves. It implements strategies and undertakes activities designed to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion in order to improve living conditions for vulnerable people. The organizations supported by Centraide of Greater Montreal assist over 800,000 people each year.

About the Institut du Québec

The Institut du Québec is a non-profit organization that focuses its research and its studies on current socioeconomic issues in Quebec. It aims to provide public bodies and the private sector with the tools they need to make informed decisions, and thus contribute to building a more dynamic, competitive and prosperous society. Website: