Ottawa, ON – Kitchener Centre MP Mike Morrice is focusing on addressing the housing crisis by removing tax exemptions for corporate investors through his proposed Private Members Motion (PMM) 71.
“Institutional investors should invest in the stock market, not in our housing supply,” said MP Mike Morrice. “We need to push back on large corporate investors who are taking over our neighbourhoods, resulting in increased housing costs for both renters and homebuyers.”
Morrice’s Motion 71 asks the government to both end tax incentives for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and to invest the resulting revenues in affordable non-profit and co-operative housing.
“The housing crisis is hitting our community particularly hard, and the federal government has a significant role to play in addressing it. With Motion 71, we are offering them a critical solution that needs to be part of a larger strategy: ensure corporate investors pay their fair share of taxes and direct the new revenue to affordable housing.”
Social Development Centre Waterloo Region (SDCWR) has been conducting research with University of Waterloo Professor Brian Doucet's team on gentrification and displacement in both the urban core and inner suburbs of Kitchener-Waterloo that demonstrates the community continues to lose more affordable units every year than it is able to build or plan for.
“Practices adopted by financialized landlords to move people out are uprooting and pushing residents out of their homes, neighbourhoods, and communities. The affordable buildings are being replaced with the indiscriminate construction of high-priced high-rise condominiums mostly as investments rented out, not lived in,” said Aleksandra Petrovic, Executive Director of SDCWR. “Our research demonstrates the ongoing devastating impact of the practices of investment companies through evictions for renovations or developments, upscaling of affordable rental properties, on top of the crumbling infrastructure created due to negligence, lack of maintenance and safety, savings on necessary repairs, decent pay or training for staff.”
Matt Clark of Waterloo Region Yes In My BackYard (WR YIMBY) says members of their advocacy group agree Motion 71 would make an impact.
“WR YIMBY believes taxing REITs will help level the playing field for all buyers. Using the proceeds of this tax to invest in sustainable, non-precarious housing such as non-profits and co-operatives will ensure as many people as possible from all stages of life have a place to call home.”
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' political economist Ricardo Tranjan showed some REITs were posting double-digit revenue growth in the first year of the pandemic, while the rest of the Canadian economy was expected to shrink by 5.5 per cent.
Morrice’s motion follows a petition he sponsored that was signed by thousands of people across the country.
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