June 24th, 2024

Housing group brings renters’ troubles with corporate landlords to review panel

By The Canadian Press on October 30, 2023.

Hannah Wood, chair of the Halifax Peninsula chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, speaks at a gathering of renters in Halifax on Monday, Oct.30, 2023, as they prepare to deliver testimonials to the local CMHC offices, describing problems renters have experienced after large firms and real estate trust bought their units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Tutton

HALIFAX – A national housing advocacy group delivered about 400 stories of renters’ difficulties in dealing with large corporate landlords to federal offices in 10 Canadian citiestoday.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, held rallies in cities including Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Ottawa as they provided the testimonials to Liberal MPs and to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The tenantsdescribe how after their rental units were taken over by real estate investment trusts or large companies, they often faced higher rents, and – in some instances – poor maintenance.

The group made the deliveries as their national spokesperson, Tanya Burkart, joined with other advocate groups providing testimony toan online federal review panel that is examining the impact of rental housing being bought up by large investment firms.

The testimonials were also providedin Augustto the federal review panel, which will report to the federal housing minister next year.

According to a summary of reports prepared for the Federal Housing Advocate, released last year, financial firms began consolidating ownership of family housing in the late 1990s, and an estimated 340,000 suites are now owned by the largest financial firms in the country.

The report, by Martine August, says institutions hold an estimated 20 to 30 per cent of multi-family rental units, “with consolidation increasing each year.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.

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