The House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) is undertaking a study regarding the financialization of housing.
The study will examine the issue of financialization in the housing market. It will include corporate ownership of single family homes, rent gouging and renovictions. It will also consider the impact of ‘real estate investment trusts’ on the rental housing market. This will include reviewing increased rental rates and the loss of affordable housing units, as well as the tax treatment of real estate investment trusts. The Committee will hear from the Federal Housing Advocate as well as other witnesses.
The financialization of housing is the process where housing is increasingly treated as an investment rather than someone’s home. Impacts of this process include devastating rent increases and housing insecurity. This can in turn lead to eviction, food insecurity, homelessness and more. In 2022, CHF Canada members passed the Homes for People Before Profit Resolution—committing to advocate for more co-operative housing as a way to reverse its impact.
Housing Central is a strategic alliance between BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) and the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC). Our mission is to strengthen and grow the community housing sector so all British Columbians have a safe, secure home they can afford.
As the leading voice of affordable housing in B.C., we use our position to provide informed policy advice to the provincial and federal governments to advance our mission of safe, secure, and affordable housing for all.
For the last couple of years Housing Central has been a strong advocate against the financialization of housing in British Columbia and in Canada. Out of the different policies and strategies Housing Central has advocated for, there are two policies that would benefit largely from federal involvement [PDF].
Our partners at CHF Canada also submitted its recommendations [PDF] on the financialization of housing to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA).
CHF Canada is the national voice of co-operative housing, representing 2,200 housing cooperatives, home to over 250,000 people who reside in every province and territory. At their 2022 Annual Meeting, co-operative members emphatically passed a resolution “Homes for People before Profit” to encourage more national advocacy against the financialization of housing.
Their submission urges the federal government to enable the development of more non-profit and co-operative housing as a way to reverse the impact of the financialization of housing. This is especially critical for Black, Indigenous and other equity-seeking communities who too often experience housing need. For housing to be seen as a human right, rather than a commodity, we need community-driven solutions, such as co-op housing, to address the affordable housing crisis.
All of these recommendations are in line with our commentary on the 2023 federal budget.