From Advocacy to Action: CREA Champions Housing Reform in 2023

There’s no denying 2023 was a difficult year for many Canadians. Inflation, soaring interest rates, the exorbitant cost of living and a housing crisis have all been top of mind.

For more than 30 years, REALTORS® have been advocating for policies that encourage access to housing for all Canadians. Last year was no different. Today, we’re going to reflect on the successes of REALTOR® advocacy in 2023.

PAC at Home 2023

Each spring, REALTOR® Political Action Committee (PAC) representatives meet with their local Members of Parliament (MPs) during the spring parliamentary break.

Between April 3 and April 28, 2023, PAC Reps met with their elected officials to discuss important REALTOR® recommendations. The following recommendations were submitted to the government in CREA’s pre-budget consultation in advance of the 2023 Budget, and set the stage for PAC at Home:

  1. Permanent National Housing Roundtable: CREA recommendsthe establishment of a permanent national housing roundtable to bring together housing stakeholders to help address the housing crisis through an inclusive, holistic approach that emphasizes collaboration, innovation, and policy coordination.
  2. Cost-free, standardized, phased approach for EnerGuide labelling of homes. CREA recommends the government enable consumers to make informed decisions while ensuring consistency, so that Canadian homeowners are not faced with further affordability and supply challenges.

CREA members can view advocacy resources, including CREA’s Pre-Budget Consultation Submission 2024, by accessing the REALTOR® Action Network.

PAC Reps and members of the REALTOR® community met with more than 70 MPs, sharing the voice of REALTORS® as parliamentarians prepared to return to the House of Commons and begin debating the budget. Our message was heard loud and clear; and there was no lack of housing policy discussion during the spring parliamentary session.

2023 Federal Budget

On March 28, 2023, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland tabled the second budget of the 44th parliamentary session, “A Made-In Canada Plan.” This budget was heavily focused on measures to address the cost-of-living crisis, provide inflation relief, invest in public health care, and build Canada’s clean economy.

As anticipated, “A Made-in-Canada Plan” reiterated existing housing measures and investments the government has previously announced and, while these investments were considerable, they were a drop in the bucket towards addressing the housing crisis.

The next federal budget will be announced in spring 2024.

Amendments to the foreign buyer ban

The 2023 budget followed an announcement of amendments to the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act, on Monday, March 27. CREA worked hard to advocate for changes to the prohibition since it was announced.

The amendments include:

  1. Enable more work permit holders to purchase a home to live in while working in Canada.
  2. Repealing existing provision so the prohibition doesn’t apply to vacant land.
  3. Exception for development purposes.
  4. Increasing the corporation foreign control threshold from 3% to 10%.

CREA PAC Days 2023

From October 15-17, 2023 more than 450 REALTORS® came together to meet with 140 MPs, and advocate for three core recommendations during PAC Days:

  1. Establish permanent national housing roundtable to bring together housing stakeholders to help address the housing crisis through an inclusive, holistic approach that emphasizes collaboration, innovation, and policy coordination.
  2. Leverage federal infrastructure funding with municipal, provincial, and territorial partners requiring the creation of more housing supply.
  3. Develop a housing workforce immigration strategy to attract trade workers from abroad, and streamline the immigration process for qualified professionals willing to work in the construction industry.

In addition to meeting with MPs, PAC Reps joined us to discuss ideas and hear from a diverse lineup of panelists and speakers exploring federal politics, Canada’s housing crisis, and effective advocacy strategies.

End of year advocacy

On November 21, 2023, Freeland tabled the 2023 Fall Economic Statement.

CREA was encouraged by the unprecedented emphasis on housing, with several measures aimed at enhancing existing housing programs announced, as well as the government’s commitment to increasing housing supply across the entire housing continuum through various new programs. Many REALTOR® recommendations from PAC Days and positions were reflected in the statement.

The statement included its first-ever housing-related chapter titled Canada’s Housing Action Plan, focused on mitigating the housing crisis and restoring housing affordability. The government introduced new measures to incentivize the construction of new rental housing; protect homeowners and renters; and ensure all Canadians have a safe, affordable place to call home.

CREA’s Government Relations team will continue to analyze the impact of the statement and keep pushing the government to make substantive investments towards growing the housing supply across Canada.

What to expect in 2024?

This year CREA will continue to monitor the federal government’s activities and advance REALTOR® messaging and recommendations. We look forward to launching our Advocacy Grant Program, which was announced during PAC Days. in the new year, which will help mobilize advocacy efforts from local and provincial boards and associations.

Do you want to get involved in REALTOR® advocacy? Learn more about how you can become the face and voice for your REALTOR® community. Contact your local board or association executive, or CREA’s Government Relations team at to get started.

As CREA’s Government Relations Coordinator, Nicole Ferenczi works closely with government and private sector partners daily, while supporting the Federal Affairs Committee and administering our online grassroots advocacy platform, the REALTOR® Action Network. She plays a leading role in CREA’s member-driven lobbying campaigns, PAC Days and PAC at Home, and has taken the lead on select policy files. When she isn’t working, you’ll find her watching cooking shows, preparing exciting dishes for her friends and family, and skiing in the winter months.

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