Oral Hearings for the Financialization Review Panel
Canada’s first human rights-based review panel on the financialization of purpose-built rental housing is in full swing. After receiving over 190 written submissions in phase one of the review, oral hearings will take place virtually starting on October 23, 2023.
Want to learn more about review panels? Click here.
what is the purpose of oral hearings?
Oral hearings are an opportunity for those who have made written submissions in phase one of the review panel process to expand on their evidence verbally.
It is also an opportunity for the review panel members to get clarity on any questions they may have in order to most effectively form their opinions and recommendations to the federal government and Minister of Housing, based on the important information brought forward by rights-claimants, civil society organizations, and human rights experts.
Currently, only those who made a written submission in phase one of the review panel process and have received an invitation directly from the National Housing Council Secretariat can participate in the virtual oral hearings on the financialization of housing.
Who are the review panel members?
As outlined in the National Housing Strategy Act, a review panel must consist of three members of the National Housing Council (who are appointed by the Minister of Housing). The panel members should collectively bring human rights expertise, lived experience of marginalization, and lived experience of inadequate housing or homelessness.
The members of the financialization review panel are Sam Watts (Chair), Maya Roy, and Ann McAfee.
Sam Watts (Chair)
Oral Hearings Schedule
Oral hearings for the financialization review panel will take place virtually
- The Shift
- Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (view written submission)
- National Right to Housing Network / Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network (view written submission)
- Maytree (view written submission)
- DAWN Canada (view written submission)
Public link to view the oral hearing sessions: NHC-CNL.can.chime.live
- ACORN Canada
- Canadian Union of Public Employees
- Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario
- Herongate Tenant Coalition
- Women’s Shelters Canada
- Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition
- Mouvement pour mettre fin à l’itinérance à Montréal
- And various individual rights-claimants
- The Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA)
- Saskatoon Indian & Metis Friendship Centre
- Individual affected by the issue
- First Nation Advisory Group
- Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
- Steve Pomeroy
- Andrew Crosby & Guillaume Lessard
- Sarah Buhler
- Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE)
- Sneha Sumanth & Monika Imeri
- WoodGreen Community Services
Daily oral hearing updates
Check back here for updates after each oral hearing session
Today is the day: oral hearings for Canada’s first-ever human rights-based review panel begin!
We tuned in to hear testimony and evidence from the Federal Housing Advocate, Martine August, and Nemoy Lewis on the systemic and human rights issue of the “financialization” of purpose-built rental housing—i.e., institutional investors using rental housing as a financial asset and tool for maximizing profit, all at the expense of tenants (and people seeking tenancy).
To read our live updates from this first hearing on Twitter/X, click here.
more resources on review panels
Oral Hearings FAQ
The oral part of the hearing for this review panel is intended to provide the panel an opportunity to:
- Engage in meaningful dialogue with individuals and communities affected by the financialization of purpose-built rental housing;
- Address gaps in the evidence and/or questions that emerge from the panel’s analysis of the evidence gathered through the written hearing; and,
- Seek further detail and/or clarification from individuals and communities affected by the issue, civil society, experts in human rights and housing and other relevant groups to ensure the panel has the full range of evidence needed to inform its opinion and recommendations to the Minister of Housing, as outlined in the National Housing Strategy Act.
Currently, only those who made a written submission in phase one of the review panel process and have received an invitation directly from the National Housing Council Secretariat on behalf of the review panel members can participate in the virtual oral hearings on the financialization of purposed-built rental housing.
Some of the written submissions from our Network partners can be viewed here.
As a member of the public, you may also watch the oral hearings at the link here: NHC-CNL.can.chime.live
The oral hearings will be virtual (via Zoom).
Invited speakers and participants will be sent their own unique link to participate in their session.
The public link to watch each hearing (in webinar format) is here: NHC-CNL.can.chime.live
Yes. The public webinar-style Zoom link is here: NHC-CNL.can.chime.live
As of October 18, 2023, there are 8 confirmed oral hearing sessions. Each session will follow a general theme and include individual, organizational, and/or lived expert participants.
After all oral hearing sessions are complete, the panel will analyze all submissions received as part of written and oral hearings and use the information and evidence gathered to prepare a report to the Minister of Housing, in alignment with the National Housing Strategy Act.
The report to the Minister will outline the panel’s opinion on the systemic housing issue under review and its recommendations to address the issue. Given the scope of the National Housing Strategy Act, recommendations will focus on measures that are within the jurisdiction of the federal government to help to ensure that the panel’s recommendations are actionable and have the potential to result in changes that advance the right to adequate housing in Canada.
The Minister of housing must respond to the review panel’s report within 120 days and table that response in the House of Commons and in the Senate.
Oral hearings are an opportunity for the review panel to dig deeper into written submissions made by the public. There is no way to guarantee an invitation to oral hearings, however anyone can make a written submission to review panels. Review panel members read every written submission made by the public.
With this review panel on the financialization of housing being the very first human rights-based review panel in Canada’s history, the National Housing Council is open to hearing feedback from participants. Share your feedback via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to help make the process more accessible for future review panels.
Oral hearings may be expanded to include more members of the public in subsequent review panels (the next one is on women’s homelessness). We encourage you to continue to stay involved and offer your feedback and expertise in this important human rights-based accountability process, even if you are not able to participate in the oral hearings for this particular review panel at this time.