By Lucy Adautin
The plight continues for Nigerians and other immigrants in Canada facing difficulties in securing housing, as the authorities of the North American country have extended the ban on foreign property buyers, with no resolution in sight for this issue.
Officials of the state had initially set the ban to expire by January 1, 2025. However, it has now been extended by three years, until January 1, 2027. One of the motives behind this extension is to provide more Canadian citizens with access to housing.
This measure, anticipated to impact Nigerians and other foreigners in the country, is a component of the nation’s response to the worsening housing crisis. This crisis has forced many immigrants, including Nigerians, to seek accommodation in unconventional locations like cemeteries and streets.
Canada, similar to Nigeria, faces challenges of increasing housing deficits and affordability issues. However, unlike Nigeria, Canada is taking steps to address the housing problem. The ban on foreigners owning homes in the country is one of these measures.
According to the authorities of the country, there has been a decline in owner-occupied homes which they have blamed on commercial and speculative home buyers who are predominantly foreigners in the country.
Unlike Nigeria, Canada is taking proactive steps to address its housing challenges. The government says it has plans to build more homes faster and put home ownership back within reach for more Canadians. Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s deputy prime minister, was quoted in a new report as saying that by extending the foreign buyer ban, the country would ensure houses are used as homes for Canadian families to live in and do business.
“Houses should not become a speculative financial assets class,” he said, assuring, “the government is intent on using all possible tools to make housing more affordable for Canadians across the country.”
The government of the country enacted the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by the Non-Canadians Act in 2022 to bar international investors from acquiring residential property in the country and ensure the housing market remains available for indigenous people.
A statement from the country’s Department of Finance underscores that foreign commercial businesses and individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents will remain prohibited from purchasing residential property in the country.
This follows reports indicating that between the two Canadian censuses in 2016 and 2021, the proportion of Canadians residing in owner-occupied homes decreased from 69 percent to 66.5 percent, marking the lowest figure since 2022.
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