Review Panel Recommendations to Address Financialization of Housing Available Now

May 29, 2024

Financialization Review Panel Recommendations - National Right to Housing NetworkThe final recommendations from Canada’s very first human rights-based review panel on the financialization of purpose-built rental housing are officially out.

Last fall, hundreds of people from across the country came together to give written and oral testimonies on the impacts of financialization on renters in Canada. Through this process, participants shared their lived experience and expertise on the issue, highlighting the connection between financialization and unreasonable rent hikes, evictions, poor maintenance, and more.

This final report released by the National Housing Council is built on all this evidence and testimony from civil society and community, and provides human rights-based recommendations for the federal government to address financialization.

The federal government, specifically the housing minister, now has 120 days to respond.

The phenomenon of financialization of housing is happening across the world, and as former Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Leilani Farha, wrote:

“[Financialization] refers to the way capital investment in housing increasingly disconnects housing from its social function of providing a place to live in security and dignity and hence undermines the realization of housing as a human right. It refers to the way housing and financial markets are oblivious to people and communities, and the role housing plays in their well-being.”

The Final Recommendations

Some of the human rights-based recommendations in the report include: 

  • Aligning federal non-market housing funding to match the average funding provided for social housing by other developed Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
  • Establish tenant protection agreements with each province and territory to fund and support regional implementation of the national consensus standards for tenant protections.
  • Provide immediate emergency funding to provincial, territorial, municipal, and non-market housing agencies so that they can provide housing subsidies and supports to tenants facing immediate housing precarity that could lead to homelessness.

We at the Network will do everything in our power to advocate for the full implementation of these critical human rights recommendations in our conversations with the Minister’s office, and to ensure that the voices of civil society and community, especially those with lived experience of homelessness, play a central role in the development of solutions.

view final recommendations


Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is the Financialization of Housing an issue?

In Canada, large financial firms hold 20-30% of all purpose-built rental housing, which is significant for renters across the country because financialization is often attributed to: 

  • Unreasonable rent hikes
  • Evictions and renovictions
  • Poor maintenance
  • Displacement of communities
  • Unaffordability
  • Discrimination

What are Review Panels and why are they important?

Review panels are new government accountability mechanisms under Canada’s right to housing law. They are critical in upholding your human right to housing because they provide an opportunity for everyday people—especially those from marginalized communities—to take part in identifying systemic issues in Canada’s housing market and to hold government accountable in upholding housing justice.

Learn more about financialization and review panels here.

What is missing from the recommendations?

Tenants and individuals with lived experience have been warning the government for years that financialization is devastating the affordable housing stock. This report acknowledges that their concerns are valid and outlines some initial steps to address the issue. We look forward to collaborating with the government to further investigate the impact of pension funds and taxation measures that favor financialized actors while also implementing the recommendations from the review panel.


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