Vacancy rates for Sask. Housing in Regina skyrocket as city deals with rising homelessness

Regina vacancy rates for social housing have increased 474%; 1084% for seniors housing in the last decade

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Opposition Housing Critic Meara Conway released newly obtained documents from the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation that show that vacancy rates for social housing have skyrocketed under the Sask. Party while municipalities across the province have been sounding the alarm about rising homelessness. 

“These numbers are shocking. Not only are more and more people struggling to find affordable housing, these numbers show that it’s the Sask. Party’s own mismanagement that is leading to rising homelessness across the province,” said Beck. “This is the result of a government that won’t work with municipal partners, won’t work with housing agencies, and won’t work with the very people just trying to keep a roof over their heads. It’s clear Scott Moe just doesn't care enough to actually solve the problem. The solution is simple: get these people housed.”

New Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) documents received by the Official Opposition through a freedom of information request show that last year in Regina, 691 of the 2,986 available units sat vacant. That represents nearly 1 in 4 of the SHC’s units in Regina. 

Between 2012 and 2022:

  • the vacancy rate for family social housing units in Regina increased from 5.98% to 19.39% or an increase of 224%
  • the vacancy rate for seniors social housing units in Regina increased from 2.26% to 26.76%, or an increase of 1084%
  • the total vacancy rate in social housing units in Regina increased from 4.03% to 23.14%, or an increase of 474%.

The high vacancy rates are not just an issue in the capital region. Last year, across the province, the Sask. Party sat on 3,161 vacant units while municipalities across the province called for action to address the homelessness crisis. 

This includes:

  • Estevan with 110 of the 295 units sitting vacant (37% vacant)
  • Meadow Lake with 62 of the 213 units sitting vacant (29% vacant)
  • The Battlefords with 143 of the 629 units sitting vacant (23% vacant)
  • Prince Albert with 159 of the 934 units sitting vacant (17% vacant)

“We see hundreds of people waiting months and even years on wait lists to access publicly owned units within their financial reach. We have a tent city in Regina and more across the province while these publicly-owned units just sit there collecting dust,” said Conway. “What these documents show is a clear failure by this Sask. Party government that is leading to tent encampments and housing insecurity across Saskatchewan. The people of our province deserve better.”

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