Exacerbating Economic Inequalities

As the housing crisis deepens, the growing presence of institutional investors in the rental real estate market – a phenomenon often referred to as the financialization of housing – is coming under scrutiny.

In 2021, we launched our research on “Investors for Affordable Cities,” bringing together investors to address the reputational and operational risks of housing investments associated with evictions, tenant displacement or driving up local rent.

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Cities

Our approach to affordable housing is closely aligned with targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, “Sustainable Cities and Communities,” which calls to:

Ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums. (Target 11.1)

United Nations Human Rights

Housing as a Human Right

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adequate affordable housing, and the improvement of living conditions, is recognized as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living. (Article 11)

How do we engage on housing affordability?

Fund Governance

At the fund governance level, investors can embed housing affordability into responsible investment policies to provide a solid framework for investment decision-making.

Asset Allocation

At the asset allocation level, investors can designate a portion of their funds to affordable housing– either directly investing in assets or allocating to affordable housing funds.


At the stewardship level, investors can incorporate housing affordability into their asset manager selection and monitoring criteria, and into their engagement with portfolio companies such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).


At the policy level, institutional investors can add an important voice to discussions in support of meaningful measures to advance housing affordability in Canada.

Webinar Recording

Investors for Afforable Cities

This webinar brought together investors to learn about how the financialization of housing is unfolding in Canadian cities. Led by a panel of experts, the conversation explored why housing affordability is an issue for investors, and what investors can do to begin addressing concerns in their portfolios.

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New SHARE report identifies metrics, data gaps in REIT ESG disclosures

The upcoming report, State of the Sector: REITs, ESG disclosures and the human right to housing, proposes a recommended set of disclosures for REITs to adopt which would allow for investors to identify, manage, prevent and/or mitigate adverse impacts related to the human right to adequate housing in their residential portfolios.

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New report on affordable cities calls investors to action on the financialization of housing in Canada

SHARE’s new report seeks to stimulate a discussion among institutional investors about how their residential real estate portfolios may impact housing affordability and what actions they can take to address these impacts.

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Investors question housing practices that increase inequality, undermine rights

SHARE issued an open letter to the CEOs of two of Canada’s largest residential property owners: Starlight Investments and Northview REIT. Starlight, one of Canada’s largest landlords will grow further if a proposed deal goes through to acquire Northview. We outline two fundamental areas of concern for responsible investors regarding real estate investment, and ask the company’s to outline their plans.

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