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Petition e-3239 to the House of Commons
1.8 million Canadian households spend more than 30% of their income on rent, and 800,000 households spend more than 50%;
2.4 million Canadian households experienced core housing need in 2020;
Financialization of housing inflates Canadian real estate prices;
Inflation is exacerbated by wealthy investors using Canada’s housing market to launder money and evade taxes;
Corporations, numbered companies and real estate investment trusts (REITs) are rapidly buying up affordable housing units and flipping them to market rate units;
REITs benefit from large federal tax exemptions;
Some government policies designed to increase housing affordability transfer tax dollars to the private sector but do not protect existing affordable housing, or create new permanent affordable housing; and
While some parts of Canada have rent and vacancy controls, there are no national standards to protect tenants.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to:
1. Recognize housing unaffordability and homelessness as twin national crises;
2. Re-define affordable housing using an updated formula that better reflects the economic realities faced by millions of Canadians;
3. Remove tax exemptions for REITs;
4. Increase regulation of foreign investment in residential real estate;
5. Require restrictive covenants on affordable housing units built with taxpayer subsidies to ensure that those units remain affordable;
6. Create national standards to establish rent and vacancy controls;
7. Create an empty home tax for residential property owners who leave buildings and units vacant;
8. Regulate investors out of residential real estate that is priced below median regional prices to increase access to affordable properties for Canadians buying homes; and
9. Prioritize funding for non-profit and cooperative housing.