(Bloomberg) -- Canada’s national pension fund struck its first partnership to build and rent out single-family homes in the U.S., joining a rush to capitalize on a housing shortage.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will join with Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC, the largest property manager in the U.S., to build and acquire communities of single-family rental properties there, according to a statement Wednesday. CPPIB will own 95% of the $840 million joint venture and Greystar 5%. 

The surging price of homeownership in the U.S. has forced many families to consider renting single-family houses instead of buying, helping turn such properties into one of the hottest asset classes over the course of the pandemic. More than $30 billion has been committed to rental houses since 2020, according to deal announcements compiled by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. 

“Purpose-built single-family rental properties are becoming more desirable for a large and growing segment of renters in the U.S., particularly families or other renters looking for more space without sacrificing access to urban centers,” Peter Ballon, the global head of real estate at CPPIB, said in a statement.

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Though other Canadian real estate companies such as Tricon Residential Inc. and Great Gulf Group have joined the gold rush in U.S. rental homes, there hasn’t been the same interest in such ventures in Canada, despite an even more severe housing shortage. As home prices have surged in a country obsessed with ownership, one developer’s plan to acquire and rent out single family homes sparked controversy earlier this year, while a scarcity of available land near major cities also makes new construction difficult.

CPPIB’s latest partnership with Greystar follows on a $389 million venture they announced in January to develop apartment buildings in the U.S.

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