Review Panel:
Help End the Financialization of Housing!

Canada’s very first human rights-based review panel was on the issue of “the financialization of purpose-built rental housing”! This gave people affected by financialization, civil society organizations, housing and human rights experts, and representatives from the purpose-built rental housing sector the opportunity to share their experiences, expertise, and proposed solutions for financialization directly with the review panel.

UPDATE: After analyzing over 190 written submissions from across Canada and hosting 8 oral hearings, the review panel released its final human rights-based recommendations to the federal Minister of Housing on May 29, 2024.

View Final Recommendations

To stay informed of what comes next, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

What is Financialization?

Financialization of housing refers to the treatment of housing primarily as a financial asset and tool for maximizing investor profit at the expense of human rights among tenants and tenancy-seeking individuals.

From unreasonable rent hikes to evictions and renovictions, unaffordability, poor maintenance, displacement of communities, and discrimination, financialization has hugely damaging impacts on the right to housing in Canada.

Financialization is known to attribute to:

Evictions / Renovictions

Unreasonable Rent Hikes

Poor Maintenance

What are Review Panels?

Review panels are one of the key oversight and accountability mechanisms created under Canada’s right to housing legislation of 2019, the National Housing Strategy Act (NHSA). They offer a new avenue for access to justice that puts the experiences and dignity issues of those most affected by Canada’s housing policies and investments (or lack thereof) at the centre.

Review panels rely on public participation from individuals and communities, and involves multiple open hearings to gather evidence of systemic human rights violations in housing that will be used to create human rights-based findings and recommendations directed to the Government of Canada.

Review panels are important because this is the first time a human-rights process is being used to address systemic housing issues in Canada, and the findings and recommendations from the hearings will be tabled in the House of Commons where the federal Minister of Housing will be required to respond with a plan of action within 120 days. This means there is clear accountability—the Government of Canada can’t simply ignore the recommendations raised.

The final recommendations to this review panel were released on May 29, 2024.

View Final Recommendations

Read Written Submissions

This review panel received over 190 written submissions from all across Canada. Many of our Network partners and supporters also made submissions. Check out a few of them here:

View All Submissions Here

ORAL HEARINGS

The oral hearings for the review took place from October 23 to December 5, 2023. They were streamed for public viewing. More information on oral hearings, including schedules, presenter names, and daily updates are all available here.

Learn More about Oral Hearings

written submissions FAQs

Who can make a written submission?

Written submissions may be made by:

  1. Individuals and members of communities affected by the issue under review. Submissions may be made on behalf of someone else, provided you have their explicit consent to do so.
  2. Experts on human rights, including but not limited to, the right to adequate housing and related rights recognized under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other international treaties.
  3. Experts on housing including but not limited to, individuals and organizations with expertise on the housing system and housing policy and those involved in the development and/or provision of housing (market and/or non-market).
  4. Others with an interest in the issue under review are also encouraged to make a submission.

Please note: Review panels are focused on systemic housing issues. They are not for individual complaints and cannot provide a resolution for housing issues an individual may be experiencing. People who need help to resolve an individual housing issue are encouraged to reach out 211.ca to access services in their community.

When is the deadline to make a written submission?

The deadline for submission is August 31, 2023. Submissions sent by mail that are postmarked by this date will still be received and reviewed. 

What if I don’t have time to make a written submission or don’t want to do it alone?

If you’re unable to make a submission alone and have no one to make a submission on your behalf, contact us and we can connect you with your local or national housing organization who can help. There will also be a second review panel in 2024 (on women’s homelessness) that you can participate in.

Can I make a written submission on somebody else’s behalf?

Yes. Submissions may be made on behalf of someone else, provided you have their explicit consent to do so. You will be asked to confirm that you have consent when completing a submission on someone else’s behalf.

What should I cover in my written submission?

What you cover in your written submission is ultimately up to you! However, we recommend structuring your submission with an overarching theme to maintain clarity. Here are just some examples of what your submission could cover, keeping in mind that there are many other topics and intersections that you can make with the financialization of rental housing: 

  1. Impact of financialization on tenants and tenancy-seeking individuals
  2. Accessibility issues for those with disabilities
  3. Rights of Indigenous peoples
  4. Mechanisms or tenant/renter protection
  5. Regulating financialized landlords
  6. Jurisdictional responsibility
  7. Discrimination of racialized communities

… and much more! 

How long can my written submission be?

If you choose to use the built-in text box in the submission portal, you may type a submission of up to 5,000 characters (about 1,000 words). If you are making a longer submission, you may choose to upload a document of up to 5,000 words.

Is there a written submission template that can guide me?

Yes! We understand that creating a written submission for a review panel can be a big undertaking. To help make this process as easy as possible for you, we’ve created a couple of resources:

  1. Written Submission Template
  2. Human Rights Language Guide

We encourage you to use these resources in whatever way works best for you—and if you still need additional help with your written submission, please feel free to contact us here.

How can I incorporate human rights language into my written submission?

Incorporating human rights language into your written submission is an effective way to link the issue you’re submitting about to the federal government’s legal obligation to fully realize the right to housing in Canada.Furthermore, by incorporating human rights language, you can help shift the perspective of housing from charity to obligation, from aid to dignity, and from privilege to human right.

Review our guide on how to incorporate human rights language to learn more.

Can I still support the cause without making a written submission?

Yes! Even without making a submission, you can support our efforts by following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and sharing information about the review process with others. Sharing your stories and testimonies with local and national housing organizations can also make a difference. Every small contribution, such as spreading awareness and sharing experiences, helps in ensuring this review process is a success.

Will there be other review panels?

The second review panel was recently announced. This next review panel will look at the Government of Canada’s failure to prevent and eliminate homelessness amongst women and gender-diverse people, particularly Indigenous women, gender-diverse, and Two-Spirit people. This review will begin in 2024. You can learn more about this review panel here.

What if I already have a written submission?

Great! If you’d like your written submission to be featured on our website (where your submission will be available to the public), send it to us here.

What happens after I make a written submission?
    1. When you submit your response online, you’ll get a confirmation number. By email, you’ll receive an email confirming receipt. If you submit by mail and provide a return address, you’ll get a confirmation letter.
    2. The National Housing Council Secretariat will assist the panel members in reviewing and analyzing the evidence submitted in the written hearing.
    3. Based on the written submissions, the panel will select individuals and organizations for the oral hearing. They will receive further instructions and support if they accept the invitation.
    4. Once the hearing is completed, the panel will analyze all the evidence and create a report with their opinion and recommendations on the housing issue. The report will be sent to the Minister responsible for the NHS Act, who must respond within 120 days.

The review panel’s report will be published on the National Housing Council website.

 

The National Right to Housing Network would like to thank the following funders and organizations for making our work around the review panel possible:

 

CTA Banner

Newsletter

Join the right to housing movement and subscribe to our newsletter.

Sign Up

Join the Right to Housing movement and subscribe to our newsletter.

X