Housing and housing: act by giving priority to affordability

Currently, Quebec is grappling with a severe structural real estate deficit. This phenomenon, once experienced mainly in urban centers, now affects the whole of Quebec. In fact, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimates that 680,000 housing units will need to be built by 2030 to preserve the affordability of the housing market here.

Building for everyone

Although there has been talk of housing shortages for several years, it cannot be denied that this crisis has been exacerbated by the pandemic. This disrupted supply chains, resulting in a shortage of materials and, therefore, a drastic increase in construction costs. It is therefore necessary to find ways to build more social housing, but also affordable housing.

In regions, construction costs often exceed the value of the building, which creates a great challenge. Therefore, housing projects are not highly regarded by contractors. Especially since the latter are in great demand by the institutional and commercial sector. One of the solutions is to offer incentives to developers, for example, by making land available through financial assistance under existing measures such as the Quebec Affordable Housing Program and comparable municipal programs. However, the assistance offered must be conditional on maintaining accessibility in the long term.

Build and adjust better

The UMQ proposes several other solutions that would benefit from implementation, such as the construction of housing by the government of Quebec and the sale of these units at cost price.

The adequacy between supply and demand must also be considered in planning the housing supply to align everything with economic development. Therefore, the houses built in the coming years will have to meet the needs of companies, which often have to recruit outside their own territory to find employees. A company that establishes itself in a region and creates 100 jobs there must be able to host its workers there.

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Strict application of the legal and regulatory framework for the supervision of tourist accommodation facilities is also desirable. Case by case, municipal regulations can be better applied in this way. Depending on the wishes of a municipality, housing used for tourism could, for example, be returned to the real estate market.

Finally, the maintenance of the existing housing stock is essential. Quebec cannot afford to have unused housing due to its run-down. Each unit must be refurbished and used for the purpose of hosting individuals and families.

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