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BIG NEWS!!! Federal Budget 2024 – $10 NSF fee Victory & Some Positive Steps for Housing - ACORN Canada

BIG NEWS!!! Federal Budget 2024 – $10 NSF fee Victory & Some Positive Steps for Housing

Posted April 18, 2024

BIG NEWS – After years of pressure from ACORN, the federal government finally listened and is lowering NSF fees from the predatory rate of $48 to $10!! The timeline has not been finalised but the budget said in “the coming months”.

Other details they announced:

  • Requiring banks to send an alert before charging NSFs and providing some time to transfer the funds to avoid the fee.
  • Banks will be prohibited from charging multiple NSF fees for the same transaction.
  • Only one NSF fee can be charged in every 72-hour period; and,
  • Prohibiting NSF fees for small overdrawn amounts under $10.

Other interesting developments: The federal government moved to strengthen the enforcement around predatory lenders so people can prosecute them without the approval of the Attorney General – this was a major bottleneck faced by people who want to take lenders to court. They Also said they will cap the cost for optional insurance products charged is also positive. However, we still need the government to finalize lowering the interest rate of predatory installment loans to 35% APR including all fees and insurance. And create alternative low or zero interest products.


So many announcements with housing! There is good and bad in this. For the first time in ACORN’s history, the feds started to talk about national tenant standards. But we need the government to move fast and ensure that standards across the country have some teeth by forcing provinces and territories to unify a best practice of tenant rights. For example:

Renter’s Bill of Rights. This has POTENTIAL:.

  • Tenants want real changes and to effect real changes in our lives, the Bill of Rights must include Full Rent Control, Ban on unaffordable rent increases; Anti-displacement covenants; and Ban on fixed term leases.
  • We need a national lease structure that gives tenants security of tenure and limits rent increases.
  • We need to be deeply involved in the consultation of this Bill of Rights
  • It is also critical that this Renter’s Bill of Rights is consistent with the government’s commitment to the Right to Housing.

Rental Protection/Acquisition Fund: This is GOOD news! They are creating a $1.5 billion Canada Rental Protection Fund that can help land trusts, non-profits and co-ops to buy apartment buildings that are on sale.

Using public lands to build housing: This is a POSITIVE STEP but they need to make sure that the housing that is built on public owned land is affordable (To point out the obvious, public land is owned BY THE PEOPLE). Non-profits, co-ops and land trust organizations must be given priority to build and run the housing on public land.

Tenant Protection Fund: They are giving $15 million to protect tenant rights to legal services and tenants’ rights organizations to better protect tenants against unfairly rising rent payments, renovictions, or bad landlords. This is good!

New Co-operative Housing Development program: Create a new program to build capacity of co-operative housing. $1.5 billion. This is good.

Co-ops/non-profit housing: Adding an extra $1 billion to an Affordable Housing Fund (formerly called the National Co-Investment Program) to further support non-profit, co-operative, and public housing providers to build and run new housing. This is good!

More on the Housing Announcements Below! These need to be strengthened!

Federal money needs conditions attached as billions flow through developers’ pockets:

  • The budget includes $15 billion for low cost loans to developers
  • This needs deep affordability conditions including terms that make sure it stays affordable for 99 years or MORE!
  • New permanent public transit funding, $3 billion per year starting 2026-27, BUT this money also needs to include anti-displacement conditions, affordability requirements and 99 year terms on the affordability terms.
  • The Greener Buildings Strategy which will include retrofit money. It needs to make sure that landlords getting this money to do retrofits do not raise the rents and evict tenants.

Stop financialized landlords from acquiring existing affordable apartment buildings
The federal government said they will restrict the purchase existing single-family homes by very large, corporate investors. This is GOOD! But needs to be extended to apartment buildings where most low-to-moderate income tenants live. We are losing affordable housing too fast and this needs to stop.