“This (corporate buy-up scheme) will make the dream of home ownership even further out of reach for people in my community. It will drive up housing prices. And it will force young people to leave this community to find an affordable home.” – St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens
A News Release and Open Letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford from St Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens
Posted June 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
ST.CATHARINES/Niagara — NDP MPP Jennie Stevens is calling on Doug Ford to take action to stop a corporation from buying up $1 billion in single family homes in St. Catharines and a handful of other cities — massively driving up the price of buying a home in St. Catharines.
Core Development Group plans to convert those single-family homes to two-family rental units.
Stevens has sent a letter to Doug Ford , demanding action, including the adoption of NDP plans to prevent housing speculators and property barons from actions just like that.
Here is St. Ctharines MPP Jennie Stevens’ Open Letter to the Premier of Ontario –
Premier Doug Ford,
I am requesting that you immediately take action to stop Core Development Group — and other massive property ownership and speculation corporations — from profiteering during the housing crisis in Niagara and across Ontario.
As you are aware, Core Development Group plans to purchase $1 billion in existing single-family houses and convert them to two-family rentals, targeting St. Catharines and a handful of other cities.
This will make the dream of home ownership even further out of reach for people in my community.
It will drive up housing prices. And it will force young people to leave this community to find an affordable home, leaving parents to watch as their kids have no choice but to leave the community they were raised in. Investors are already mass evicting entire apartment buildings of long-term Niagara residents, often seniors, to hike rents and increase profits. Houses in Niagara are already facing bidding wars.
The problem is out of control, and families — especially young families — are paying the price.
We have a housing crisis in Niagara. According to the financial firm Desjardins’s affordability index, Niagara’s 14 per cent decrease in affordability was the largest in Canada last year.
Why are you allowing billionaires to buy up homes in Niagara at a time when families are struggling to get by and need them?
It’s time we fix the conditions where billionaire investors and mega-corporations can easily profit from the housing crisis. The provincial government can start by implementing the NDP plan to scrap vacancy decontrol, which would remove a landlord’s incentive to push out existing tenants so they can replace them with tenants paying a higher rent — the main business plan that is being used right now in St. Catharines to mass evict seniors and young families.
You can adopt the NDP’s plans for increasing the NRST from 15 to 20 per cent, and expand the tax to apply everywhere in Ontario; close loopholes that let wealthy speculators off the hook, and more.
The risk of doing nothing is too high, when it is clear billionaire investors are buying up properties in my community already, and jeopardizing the dream that parents have for their children to live in the same community.
Mr. Ford, take action now.
Sincerely, Jennie Stevens, MPP for St.Catharines
To see a PDF copy of the MPP’s letter, click on – (https://mcusercontent.com/353019c4e982ae7eb8ea53150/files/a1ee7aab-0a49-d713-5a9c-3d05deacf037/Stop_Billionaire_Speculators.docx_003_.pdf)
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