The plan, reported by The Globe and Mail on Monday, would see Core Developments Group set up a single-family home rental business by purchasing homes in mid-sized cities across Ontario including London, Kingston, Hamilton, Barrie, Cambridge, Peterborough, Guelph and St. Catharines. The developer wants to expand its footprint outside the province by 2026, eventually building a fleet of 4,000 rental units in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
Critics fear the move could not come at a worse time. Rents and house prices are skyrocketing across Canada, creating a shortage of single-family homes and making housing increasingly less affordable.
Finding a decent rent “almost impossible”
“I find that very scary. This makes it even more difficult to find decent accommodation to rent, which at this point is almost impossible, ”said Samantha Lawrence, London, Ont. Chapter member of ACORN, a low-income community organization. and modest.
“There is no quality control or ownership standards. “
Lawrence said she has been a renter for life since leaving her parents’ house at the age of 17. She said that over time it became more and more difficult to find a suitable place to house her two daughters at an affordable price.
Lawrence said she has battled homeowners with bedbug and cockroach infestations, windows that aren’t properly sealed, even discolored tap water, which the property management company has refused to fix in many cases.
“I’ve been through it all, from freezing pipes in the winter and having to borrow buckets of water from neighbors to even flush the toilet, not to mention swimming or something, to leaky roofs. . “
Tight housing stocks are now the norm
Lawrence’s experience highlights what has become more common in the highly competitive housing market, where stocks of single-family homes and apartments are among the lowest in decades.
In the London area last month 1,433 homes were sold, leaving the market with so few homes that it would take just over two weeks to liquidate the area’s existing stock, according to London St. Thomas Association of Realtors.
The latest rental market survey from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is no more encouraging. The average rent in London was $ 1,119, up 7% from 2019, despite the vacancy rate rising to 3.4% thanks to new units coming online last year.
CBC News requested an interview with Core Development Group on Monday and received a written statement from CEO Corey Hawtin on Tuesday.
He writes that Core Developments chose London, like other cities in Ontario, because of its low vacancy rate.
“We have chosen markets where there are very few new offers, but where there is a lot of demand. Low vacancy rates and all markets are growing in population, they are home to a variety of employers and are developing homeless cities to accommodate this growth. ”
The statement said the company is seeking to create a “more innovative” offering in response to the housing crisis, and that tenants, whom the company calls a “fast-growing cohort”, must “be defended.”
“There is a significant lack of rental availability in the market for low-rise single-family homes. Increasing density by renovating existing homes is the fastest way to increase supply to the housing stock, ”the statement said.
“Core’s goal is to provide stable, secure, long-term rental properties in ground-oriented housing for those who are unable to buy but don’t want to be relegated to condominium rentals with limited space for themselves or their families.
“We are creating a new offering by renovating underutilized and underinvested homes that are intended to accommodate a second legal and licensed unit. “
“This might as well be Ireland in the 18th century”
Core Developments said it is targeting its offerings towards families who don’t want to live in small apartments, and hopes its foray into rental housing will spur major investment.
Lawrence fears this may be the beginning of the end for moms and pop landlords renting single-family homes.
“It’s happening. Everyone is going to have to deal with a big company because all of these people are going to get swallowed up. “
“It might as well be Ireland in the 18th century or something like that. “