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How Corporate Landlords Are Eroding Affordable Housing — And Prioritizing Profits Over Human Rights

The Oasis Reporters

April 9, 2024







A man walks past graffiti that reads ‘Rent Strike.’ Last week, hundreds of tenants in Toronto organized what they are calling the largest rent strike in the city’s history. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Ateqah Khaki, The Conversation and Vinita Srivastava, The Conversation

One factor driving the housing crisis across the country is a shift away from publicly built housing toward large corporate-owned buildings where, as today’s guest Prof. Nemoy Lewis puts it, “housing is treated as a commodity, not a human right.”


For many people living in Canada, housing has emerged as one of the most challenging issues. This is especially true in our largest cities, where financial stress plagues many households.


Home ownership is widely out of reach and for renters, housing is scarce, expensive and precarious.


In Toronto, Canada’s largest city, vacancy rates are at their lowest levels in nearly two decades and average rents have jumped nearly 10 per cent — the sharpest increase in more than a decade. Last week’s rent strike in Toronto is just one indication that Canadians need solutions.


According to today’s guest, Prof. Nemoy Lewis from the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Toronto Metropolitan University, one of the factors driving this affordability crisis has been a shift away from publicly built housing toward large corporate-owned buildings. And the result, he says, is that now: “housing is treated as a commodity, rather than a human right.”


Prof. Nemoy discusses the disproportionate impacts these corporate landlords are having on Black and low-income communities — in income-polarized cities that are increasingly accessible to only a small group of wealthy people.


Read more in TC




“The Uneven Racialized Impacts of Financialization” (A Report for the Office of the Federal Housing Advocate, June 2022) by Nemoy Lewis


The Tenant Class By Ricardo Tranjan


The Rise of the Corporate Landlord


Ethno-racial and nativity differences in the likelihood of living in affordable housing in Canada by Kate H. Choi and Sagi Ramaj (Housing Studies)


North York tenants join hundreds of Torontonians striking against above-guideline rent increases


Thorncliffe Park tenants protest above-limit rent hike (The Toronto Observer)




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You can listen to or follow Don’t Call Me Resilient on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.


We’d love to hear from you, including any ideas for future episodes. Join The Conversation on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok and use #DontCallMeResilient.The Conversation


Ateqah Khaki, Associate Producer, Don’t Call Me Resilient, The Conversation and Vinita Srivastava, Host + Producer, Don’t Call Me Resilient, The Conversation


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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