Federal advocate calls for urgent action to address housing crisis

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Calling for measures to protect renters

According to Houle, the root of the problem lies in the pursuit of maximizing returns for shareholders by large institutional investors, a trend that has escalated since the 1990s. She urged the government to intervene by implementing financial regulations to curb the acquisition of buildings by such entities.

To safeguard renters, Houle proposed prioritizing renter protection measures and expanding housing availability across the market through government investment. She advocated for tax reforms to diminish the profitability of rental real estate and urged Ottawa to restrict banks from financing acquisitions reliant on excessive rent increases or evictions, according to Global News.

The report said Houle’s testimony coincided with the release of a report by her office, advocating for the creation of a National Encampments Response Plan to address chronic homelessness.

Houle emphasized that homelessness is a national crisis affecting even remote regions, necessitating a coordinated response from the federal government. She also notes the ineffectiveness of forced evictions and stresses the need for a comprehensive approach to homelessness beyond shelters, as well as highlighting the importance of non-market housing.

“It’s really important to consider the role of non-market housing. Only 4% of the rentals in Canada are non-market and they are valuable,” said Houle.

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