In the wake of catastrophic data on occupancy rates in several regions, the Legault government admits for the first time that there is a good and good housing crisis. Preoccupied, Quebec assures that he will do everything in his power to restore the situation.
For certain cities in Quebec, “it can be said that there is a housing crisis situation”, stated the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Andrée Laforest, during an interview with our Parliamentary Bureau.
“We have nothing to hide”, affirmed Mme Laforest, pointing out that the context of the pandemic exacerbated the situation.
“There are several families who have left the big city to settle in the region […] It’s sure there is a lot of solicitation in the real estate field. »
The rental market “was already closed”, she mentioned, but the new data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Association (SCHL) now confirms the urgency.
According to the Quebec State, when the occupancy rate for housing is 3%, the rental market is balanced. But when he approaches or descends below 1%, the market is in crisis.
Between 2020 and 2021, many rates have dropped drastically and the crisis has hit large cities like Sherbrooke.
At least 14 cities of 40 000 inhabitants and more are found under 1%.
For more than a year, the opposition has accused the government of kidnapping the existence of the crisis.
Last Wednesday, Quebec Solidarity Parliamentary Chief Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois asked the Prime Minister to admit it.
“I have three words for the Prime Minister, three words he has refused to pronounce for four years, three words that the Quebecers, they, know by heart. Is it possible to live today and recognize the housing crisis that is sweeping across Quebec? »
Minister Laforest assures that the Legault government has not closed its eyes to this crisis and that the Prime Minister admits that there is a shortage of housing in certain regions.
“We arrived at a post with 15,000 homes that were advertised, but which were never built,” she said.
Tropical cost in Montreal
From the side of the metropolis, the obstacle is different. With the pandemic, there is an exodus. The occupancy rate has skyrocketed, but prices are ridiculous, the minister admits.
«Renters are more expensive. We have a problem with the affordable plan, “she said.
In recent years, Quebec has been concentrating too much on the construction of condos, it says.
In the future, there will be an increase in the “accelerated” multiplication of affordable housing.
Mme Laforest maintains that it is concerned about this large housing shortage, but does not panic.
She believes that Quebec will overcome this crisis and will quickly make things better. “We are working to increase the offer for three years”, she added.
According to it, the new $ 300 million program for affordable housing will allow in the medium term to regulate the housing shortage. In addition to satisfying the cities, Mme Laforest believes the program will attract promoters.
She admits, however, that the shortage of work and the inflationary crisis could complicate her job. “It’s a very special situation,” she said. “We are trying to move quickly. »
In the meantime, it is asking individuals to turn to the housing allowance which has been subsidized, as well as the rent supplement for those in need.
“We even take the means”, she indicated. The housing allowance has recently climbed to $ 100 a month; a sum that might soon increase again.
“For the housing allowance, we intend to increase it again, with another supplement to raise to $ 150, to adjust to the increase in the price of rents”, added Mme Laforest.
INOCCUPATION RATES IN LARGE CITIES
- 2020: 0.4%
- 2021: 0.2%
- 2020: 1.7%
- 2021: 0.2%
- 2020: 1.1%
- 2021: 0.3%
- 2020: 1.2%
- 2021: 0.9%
- 2020: 1.6%
- 2021: 1.1%
- 2020: 2.1%
- 2021: 1.1%
- 2020: 1.3%
- 2021: 1.2%
- 2020: 2.8%
- 2021: 1.8%
- 2020: 2%
- 2021: 2.2%
- 2020: 2.8%
- 2021: 2.8%
- 2020: 3.2%
- 2021: 3.6%
Source: Canadian Mortgage and Housing Association (SCHL)