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The financialization of purpose-built rental housing
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As the growth in the number of renter households in Canada outpaces the growth of homeownership,2 tenants, property owners and researchers are sounding the alarm that more can and must be done to recognize the right to adequate housing in Canada. 

Central to these calls is a better understanding of the role that the financialization of housing plays in the provision of rental housing and what is needed to ensure that tenants have access to affordable, adequate housing that meets their needs. In response, the Federal Housing Advocate made a request to the National Housing Council (NHC) to establish a review panel on one aspect of this broader systemic issue: the financialization of purpose-built rental housing.

Throughout this review panel, the three appointed NHC members engaged with over 200 participants through a two-phased written and oral hearing. These participants shared many tenant experiences that do not align with the right to adequate housing. The panel is deeply concerned about these experiences and emphasizes that financial strategies that adversely impact tenants’ rights and reduce affordable rental housing supply must be discouraged by the Government of Canada. At the same time, the panel emphasizes how several decades of underinvestment in non-market rental housing has decreased the availability of housing that is best positioned to support populations in greatest need. Moreover, the panel recognizes how the current economic climate hinders both non-market and market housing providers’ efforts to increase and operate affordable purpose-built rental housing in Canada.

This report consists of the recommendations the panel put forward to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. 

Author: National Housing Council
Topic: Housing and homelessness
Location: Canada
Format: Report, Reports/Articles, Survey / Survey results
Content Type: Research
Publication Date: May 29, 2024