Legault and the CAQ promise 11,700 social and affordable housing units
Quebec Premier François Legault.
In his first election pledge, Premier François Legault promised to inject $1.8 billion for the construction of social housing in Quebec. This measure would be used to build 11,700 affordable housing units.
“There will be a shortage of 23,500 homes over 10 years. […] We are going to work on this file with the municipalities. It’s important that they are able to have land that is well classified to develop these social [housing],” announced the leader of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) during his visit to Laval.
Without using the terms “housing crisis”, François Legault however admitted that, “yes, there is a shortage”. The oppositions and organizations had reproached him on several occasions for denying this reality.
The Prime Minister has indicated that he wants to continue to help municipalities to obtain these lands. “We are committed to giving powers in terms of expropriation,” he said.
According to Mr. Legault, the promise to build 15,000 housing units made by the CAQ in 2018 is held. Some of them are still under construction, he tempered in the process, while recalling having invested $2.6 billion for these projects.
“Of the 11,700 missing, we will also deliver the goods,” he said.
The end of AccèsLogis?
Promise kept? “It's wrong,” replied the Front d’action populaire en réménagement urbain (FRAPRU) on Twitter. According to the organization, less than a third of these units have been completed, and the rest are threatened by lack of funding.
Selon les dernières infos publiques publiées sur le site de l'#assnat, moins de 5000 des 15 000 logements déjà prévus que la CAQ avait promis de construire afin avaient réellement été construits pic.twitter.com/HfKhlv6RVs
— FRAPRU (@FRAPRU) August 12, 2022
With these 11,700 social and affordable housing units announced, we are far from the 50,000 housing units over five years that FRAPRU was asking for. In addition, nowhere on the ad does the AccèsLogis program appear. The organization sees this as “very worrying” confirmation of the abandonment of this program devoted to social housing.
A few weeks earlier, the same organization denounced “superficial improvements” by the CAQ during his tenure.
François Legault took advantage of the press conference to blame the housing shortage on the Liberal government that preceded him. “He had announced the construction of 15,000 housing units. When we got to the government, we realized that nothing had been done,” he criticized.
In a telephone interview with Métro , MP and former president of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) Saul Polo counterattacks.
In terms of lack of credibility, I think [the fact] that the CAQ has done nothing in recent years is even more telling. The Prime Minister is announcing [new housing] when he is behind schedule. They had four years to act and they did nothing.
The Liberals consider this announcement to be insufficient and “clearly electoral on the eve of the election call “. The PLQ has promised 50,000 new social housing units over 10 years.
A subsidy for 7,200 households
According to forecasts from the Quebec Ministry of Finance, the housing shortage should naturally be reduced by 2027, the CAQ said in a press release, without however providing numerical projections.
François Legault's party s&rsquo ;is also committed to investing $90.9 million in the rent supplement program. This program allows low-income families to pay only 25% of their rent. This funding should help 7,200 new households, says the ruling party.
Shortly after the announcement, the Parti Québécois (PQ) denounced a form of “cynicism” on the part of Mr. Legault.
“The CAQ has denied the housing crisis for almost four years and has just tabled a budget that provides for $0 next year in social housing. Now that the campaign has begun, it is claiming the opposite,” argued Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.
The PQ, for its part, promises to build the 10,000 social housing units that are awaiting funding. . The party would add an additional 5,000 units per year for the next five years. For its part, Québec solidaire is notably committed to building 50,000 housing units if it wins the elections.
FRAPRU has once again called on all parties to make strong commitments.
“The construction of social housing and the socialization of private housing for sale must be supported. To do this, the AccèsLogis program and the amounts invested in housing development must be reserved exclusively for social housing.”
More details to come.