REITs, or real estate investment trusts, are companies that own or finance income-producing real estate across a range of property sectors. These real estate companies have to meet a number of requirements to qualify as REITs. Most REITs trade on major stock exchanges, and they offer a number of benefits to investors. REITs provide all investors the chance to own valuable real estate, present the opportunity to access dividend-based income and total returns, and help communities grow, thrive, and revitalize.
Because of the pandemic, affordable housing advocates are calling on the Federal government to end the special tax treatment for REITs and stop the CMHC from helping financialized landlords get low-cost financing. Critics say financialized landlords are increasingly making moderate-rent units (in buildings constructed in the 1960s and 1970s) unaffordable even as the government is spending billions on a national housing strategy to try to create new rental stock (Dobby, 2021). For more information, we recommend reading Christine Dobby’s recent article in the Toronto Star.