Home ownership as a means to retain immigrants in Atlantic Canada

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University of New Brunswick


Various policy measures have been put in place to attract and retain newcomers to Atlantic Canada but the policies have met with limited success. Using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada, this paper examines the relationship between housing status and inter-provincial migrations. It examines the capacity of entry to home ownership as a means to retain human capital within a region and reverse demographic trends. The literature review examines characteristics of new immigrants and the potential for Atlantic Canada to use its housing market to anchor newcomers in the region. Results indicate a strong correlation between the initial province of residence and the province of address four years later. Immigrant households show a high rate of transition from tenancy to ownership and this may deter their interprovincial mobility. In comparison to other regions, Atlantic Canada has generally more affordable housing, and a significantly lower proportion of individuals spending over 50% of their income across different levels of housing.