Financialization of housing is a term that describes housing being treated as a commodity, rather than a human right and a social good for people and communities. It affects various socio-economic and intersecting identities. 
How does it happen?
Financialization occurs when investment firms purchase rental buildings with the intention of upgrading units and raising rental costs. As it is a business model that “demands short-term high yield profits,” it focuses heavily “on locating and purchasing housing that is deemed ‘undervalued,’” which often means targeting housing that is affordable, and often where "disadvantaged and low-income communities are located.” 
Quick facts on financialization in Canada:
- Having been a growing trend since the late 1990’s, financialization was accelerated in Canada by the COVID-19 pandemic, as rental housing is deemed a stable investment in times of economic uncertainty.
- Current research suggests “about one-third of all seniors’ housing in Canada has been financialized, along with 20-30 percent of purpose-built rental buildings.” 
- Along with “consequences for the affordability, security of tenure, and habitable conditions of rental housing for tenants,” financialization of housing is also “associated with elevated risks of illness and death for seniors and people with disabilities in long-term care facilities.”
Financialization of housing is just one reason why finding and securing a home continues to be a growing issue for Canadians. It is important to know that there are many contributing factors that impact housing affordability and accessibility. If you or someone you know needs support in finding housing, preventing eviction, or seeking emergency shelter - you are not alone, and we are here.
Call 519-749-2450 between 8:30 am - 4:30 pm to find out how we can help you.
Financialization of Housing - Centre for Social Innovation
Financialization of housing (housingchrc.ca)
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