Thousands of households in “inadequate housing” because of the CAQ, estimates QS

Thousands of households in «inadequate housing» because of the CAQ, estimates QS

The co-spokesperson for Quebec solidarity, Manon Massé.

The investment of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) in housing remains insufficient, insists Québec solidaire (QS). As July 1 dawns, the second official opposition party fears that thousands of tenants will end up in overpriced and substandard housing due to the housing crisis.

“The CAQ has failed when it comes to housing,” party co-spokesperson Manon Massé said at a press conference in downtown Montreal on Monday. You have luxury condos that are developing in Montreal, but for families who want to have a place to live, who want to be able to have housing, for that, we are in crisis.”

The government “hasn't done half” of what it promised voters, it is accused. In its election campaign, the CAQ pledged to finance 15,000 housing units already announced. Of the lot, about half are under construction.

The CAQ impoverishes tenants in Quebec. In a rich society like ours, this is unacceptable. 

Manon Massé, co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire

The Legault administration has also committed to building 500 additional units. “There is nothing to suffocate in the middle of a crisis,” comments Manon Massé.

Invest quickly

Québec solidaire therefore proposes to take out the checkbook to tackle the housing crisis. If the party is elected in the next elections, it would build 50,000 social housing units in five years.

“For a situation like the landslide in La Baie, the CAQ did not hesitate to pull out the checkbook. How is it that for the past four years, we have demanded a massive investment in housing, and that it has not done so? ”, asks Ms. Massé.

In Quebec, 37,000 households find themselves on a waiting list for access to social housing. Among them, 1,100 are in downtown Montreal, including 400 families, according to the Ville-Marie Housing Committee. “Because of the government's underfunding, social housing projects are not being carried out,” laments the committee.

“Social crisis”

The Parti Québécois is also attacking the government in terms of housing, announcing a “social crisis” to come.

“The CAQ does nothing against real estate speculation, continues to underfund social housing and refuses to remove clause F from rental leases,” said PQ MP Méganne Perry Mélançon.

Clause F applies only to newly built or refurbished dwellings. It allows landlords to impose a rent increase as they see fit without having to be exposed to a judgment from the Administrative Housing Tribunal.

This clause is applicable for three years rather than five, since the CAQ adopted a law to this effect at the close of the parliamentary session. The changes to the law were made in May.

“The best option was to stick to the land roll, which is over three years, to give the owner a period of time to assess the cost of rents”, justified the Minister of Housing of Quebec, Andrée Laforest, during a press briefing in May.

Clause F has been around for over forty years. It was introduced to provide building owners with an adjustment period to assess the fair cost of rent.

Reflection on a major issue

In addition, a provincial reflection on the housing crisis will take place in August, when the 2022 Housing Summit will be held in Laval. The mayor of the city, Stéphane Boyer, announced it jointly with the mayor of Longueuil, Catherine Fournier, Monday, during a press conference.

This is a first in which elected officials from all over Quebec will participate, as well as institutional and community representatives.

“Spiking rent prices, very low vacancy rates, renovations and overheated real estate are just a few examples of the challenges we must tackle,” commented Mr. Boyer. Faced with this observation, we have developed a program that casts a wide net so that there is no blind spot in our search for solutions.”

Various panels and conferences will be presented, including organizations such as the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ), the Quebec Federation of Municipalities (FMQ) and the Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM).

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