A government “disengaged” for social housing, criticize the speakers

A government &laquo ;disengaged” for social housing, criticize the stakeholders

The demand for access to low-cost housing or a subsidy from the Rent Supplement Program continues to grow at Montreal.

Finance Minister Éric Girard bombarded with numbers during his speech surrounding the tabling of the 2023-2024 budget. Among the myriad of amounts announced allocated to the construction, maintenance and subsidy of housing in the province, some of these sums have particularly provoked a reaction from various players in the metropolis whose main concern is access to housing.

The Girard budget devotes $1 billion to housing in Quebec and provides for the construction of 5,250 social and affordable housing units. The bulk of the portfolio — $303.6 million — will go towards building 1,500 affordable housing units. The housing component of the solidarity tax credit is increased to $291.7 million.

In terms of social housing, the Quebec government intends to support the creation of 3,300 AccèsLogis housing units with $191.5 million. The sum of $105 million is also allocated to the renovation of the low-income housing stock, which is deteriorating.

Despite everything, for the Réseau québécois des OSBL d’habitation (RQOH), the Legault government “turned a deaf ear to municipalities and social and community housing experts who were asking for an investment in a real structuring program able to meet the needs of the population”.

It should be noted that the City of Montreal estimates the needs at 2,000 new social and community housing units per year, or 10,000 units over five years.

The RQOH supports its statements by stating that “only $191 million – out of the $561 million needed – are invested to unlock part of the housing already announced in the AccèsLogis program (3,300 units)”. An insufficient amount, added the Front d’action populaire en réménagement urbain (FRAPRU) in a press release, while “the City of Montreal alone estimates that the additional sums needed to deliver the 1,098 planned units that are not not already underway”.

Both the RQOH and the FRAPRU also denounce the fact that “the only additional programming for new housing for the next five years includes 1,500 units in the Quebec Affordable Housing Program (PHAQ), of which 500 are reserved for profit-making private promoters”.

“If we want to create a real alternative to overpriced housing, we must increase the proportion of off-market housing, whether low-rent public housing, housing cooperatives or NPOs, where tenants will be protected against the effects speculation, evictions and repossessions of housing,” insists FRAPRU spokesperson Véronique Laflamme.

Following the announcement of the annual tax cut of 1.7 G $, the latter points out that this amount “could have financed 10,000 social housing units per year”.

“A cold shower for Montreal households”

“It is clear that the Government of Quebec is choosing to ignore the housing crisis, which is hitting Montreal hard,” indignant the mayor Valérie Plante by press release.

The leader of the official opposition Aref Salem advances on his side, in an email sent to Métro, that the figures for the creation of social housing are, to say the least, “disappointing”. He thus underlines the recommendation of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to “double-duty efforts to restore affordability”.

“The end of AccèsLogis, the only program dedicated to the construction of social housing, is a cold shower for Montreal households in precarious situations,” he adds.

< p>The CAQ has also received harsh criticism from other political parties on the issue of social housing.

The Official Opposition's Liberal finance critic, Frédéric Beauchemin, believes that the housing crisis “is going to get worse”.

His counterpart in the second opposition group, the solidarity Haroun Bouazzi, says that the Girard budget confirms “the death warrant of social housing”.

https://twitter. com/HarounBouazzi/status/1638274921217380370?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

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