Housing is a human right protected by international covenants. Yet in recent years housing has increasingly become commodified. Huge real estate investment firms are buying up properties where they believe land values are under-realized. They then fix up the units and apply for above guideline rent increases or renovict the tenants to collect much higher rents all at a significant profit to satisfy investors and creditors.
These companies effectively displace low and moderate income tenants, replacing them with people who can afford higher rents.
An important component of realizing the right to housing is to involve tenants in the solution. ACORN has identified the potential for a No Displacement Community Benefits Agreement to help community members realize the right to housing, by placing the needs of residents at the centre of the development process and fighting displacement.
This report outlines ACORN’s experience of organizing in the Herongate neighbourhood of Ottawa over the past decade and presents recommendations for a No Displacement Community Benefits Agreement.