In response to a hostile letter recently sent by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) maintained that it has no intention of dialling down its “Keep the Dream Alive” campaign, which is promoting home ownership to political parties involved in the upcoming provincial election.
But OREA noted that it won’t be moving ahead with billboards supporting or criticizing individual candidates, according to a spokesperson.
“Our board decided not to move forward with [targeted billboard advertising]. It was a pilot initiative they were considering, and upon further review they decided not to move forward,” OREA vice president of public affairs Matthew Thornton told the Toronto Star.
On May 13, The Canadian Press reported that TREB president Tim Syrianos sent OREA a letter telling it to back away from what it called a “misguided and ill-advised” campaign that aims to highlight the long-running housing affordability issues plaguing the province, which could negatively affect Toronto-area real estate professionals.
Syrianos stated that OREA’s endorsement or undermining of certain personalities are highly politically charged actions, and go far beyond the association’s mandate to promote policies rather than people.
Read more: OREA fanning the flames of housing market fears – TREB
Thornton stressed that political campaigns aren’t new to OREA, and added that the decision to not push through with the billboards was made prior to Syrianos’s letter being publicized.
The OREA campaign is slated to enter its second phase in September through November, Thornton said. “It’s an opportunity for us to continue to promote this message that young people are struggling to afford a home, and policy-makers need to take this issue seriously.”
TREB itself declined to comment on the Syrianos missive, saying that “the letter is not reflective of the long-standing and positive relationship between OREA and TREB who jointly remain committed to helping create a new generation of homeowners.”
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