Stop the Financialization of Housing!

Tell Minister Fraser to prioritize Everyday Canadians and Non-profits, not REITS and Corporate landlords!

Dear Minister Fraser,

As Members of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Vancouver East, we are writing to express our deep concerns about housing affordability and the financialization of the housing market.

A survey conducted by Canada Life in May 2022 revealed that 91 per cent of Canadians believe buying a home is becoming more difficult every year, with nearly half of Canadians who rent expecting to be renters indefinitely. British Columbia has one of the country’s priciest rental markets with one-bedroom apartments in Vancouver reaching an all-time high and increasing at a rate of nearly 20 per cent year-over-year.

The housing affordability crisis continues to worsen for tenants and first-time home buyers as wealthy investors and large corporations treat housing as a commodity rather than a basic human right. Many Canadians cannot compete in a bidding war against investors with deep pockets. Low rental supply, coupled with rising inflation and interest rates, ensures this competition for rentals will only continue to grow, furthering the increase in prices.

In 2020, MP Kwan brought to light the severe lack of federal social housing assistance coming into BC. With some of the costliest housing in the country and a significant unsheltered population, the 0.5 per cent of funding coming into the province fell extremely short of what was needed. While this funding has increased, it still doesn’t meet the per capita requirement and the demand is urgent.

Not only does the Liberal government need to commit to building more affordable housing, they must also address the impacts of wealthy investors driving up the costs within the market. We are fighting for a commitment to address this financialization and urge the government to act by initiating the following-

  1. Put a moratorium in place on the acquisition of affordable homes by Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and other corporate landlords who are making big profits while driving up costs and renovicting Canadians.  
  1. Change how REITs are taxed since the tax code currently rewards investors for jacking up housing prices. Already, the seven largest apartment-owning REITs in Canada have saved a combined $1.5 billion through federal tax loopholes. 
  1. Put in place a federal non-profit acquisition fund to allow not-for-profit, co-op, or land trust organizations to purchase at-risk rental buildings when they come on the market. This will ensure wealthy investors can't monopolize the supply of affordable rental units. 

The impact of Canada’s housing situation is significant and fraught with consequences. MP Barron has heard from multiple seniors facing renovictions, some whose landlords use intimidation tactics to end tenancy agreements, and many who are concerned about their ability to find suitable housing on a fixed income.

We have heard from women fleeing domestic violence who have no options but to return to their abuser because they cannot secure housing. We have listened to families who have had their children apprehended for no reason other than they could not find housing that met their needs. We know the unhoused population is ever increasing and becoming more and more desperate.

The undersigned organizations and elected officials stand-by seeking better support from the Canadian government in addressing the affordable housing crisis and financialization of the housing market. We stand with them.


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