July 1 will be good The opposition regrets a

July 1 “will be good” | The opposition regrets a statement by François Legault

(Montreal) “Did July 1, 2021 go well? Yes. Well, July 1, 2023 will be good too,” Prime Minister François Legault said Thursday in the Blue Room during an exchange with Québec Solidaire (QS) Parliament Speaker Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. A statement that does not apply to opposition parties and community organizations.

Posted at 8:39 am. Updated at 8:39 am


Coralie Laplante The Canadian Press

“François Legault sticks his head in the sand. This prime minister was disconnected from the reality of the real estate crisis from the start,” Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois reacted in an interview.

The QS parliament leader had questioned the prime minister nearly 50 days before July 1, asking him to “name one specific gesture, just one, that he will make over the next year to limit Quebec’s rent explosion.”

To which Mr. Legault replied: “Was it really July 1, 2022?” Yes. Was it July 1, 2021? Yes. Well, things will be fine again on July 1, 2023. We are taking steps to ensure everyone has a place to stay. So that’s very clear.”

Words QS doesn’t stick to. “Even if someone finds an apartment, it doesn’t mean they will find an apartment at a reasonable price, it doesn’t mean they will find an apartment that suits their needs. “There are increasing numbers of people in Quebec crammed into apartments that are too small or too expensive for them,” Mr. Nadeau-Dubois said over the phone.

Joël Arsenau, the Parti Québécois’ housing spokesman, also regretted Mr Legault’s comments. “I find it very difficult to understand how the Prime Minister can be so ill-informed about the situation when some of his ministers have admittedly taken unsatisfactory action precisely to try to alleviate the crisis. When I say today that the last two years have been good, I’m really at a loss,” he said in an interview.

“It does not bode well when such a government appears to be unconnected or denying the reality that thousands of families live, and not just in urban areas,” he added, urging the government to take measures such as abolition of Clause F on leases, which allows landlords to increase the rent in the five years following the construction of a new building without taking into account the recommendations of the Tribunal’s Housing Administration.

“I wonder what the prime minister experienced on July 1,” said Virginie Dufour, spokeswoman for local affairs and housing for the Quebec Liberal Party. Rather, she says that she sees the coming transition period “with great concern”.

“The lower the vacancy rate, the fewer opportunities there are for families to move and we’ve reached rates we’ve never seen before,” Ms Dufour said. Added to this are all the people who have suffered forced evictions in recent months. »

“It’s worse than last year”

July 1st is not going well for the Popular Action Front in Urban Redevelopment (FRAPRU).

“In recent years we have seen the length of time that tenant households require temporary housing has increased,” said FRAPRU spokeswoman Véronique Laflamme. Last year, the organization, accompanied by an emergency service, identified 600 renter households in Quebec who were without a lease as of July 1st.

“We found last year that two months after July 1st, there were still a few hundred tenant households that were homeless. So what we are seeing is that July 1st is getting harder and longer and the length of time people are calling for help and needing help is getting longer,” Ms. Laflamme explained.

Guillaume Dostaler, coordinator of Entraide Logement Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, reports the same scenario. “It’s worse than last year, which was worse than the year before, which was worse than the year before. It’s going to be even worse this year, that seems pretty clear to me,” he said.

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)’s latest rental market report, released in January 2023, Montreal’s residential vacancy rate has fallen from 3.7% to 2.3%. In affordable housing, it is even lower. The vacancy rate for apartments with rents around $1,000 per month or less is 1%.

“The few available accommodations are very expensive. “We are closely monitoring the situation, but at the moment we have the impression that it will be just as difficult for tenants in Montreal as it has been in recent years,” said the FRAPRU spokesman. Véronique Laflamme reiterates that the housing shortage is also increasingly being felt outside of Montreal, in cities such as Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke, and in certain communes of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

The spokeswoman for the Minister for Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, responded in writing, noting that “a total budget of 5.8 million will be allocated this year to meet the urgent needs of homeless households, an increase of 3 million compared to .” last year” and that “the government will support communities wishing to help households in their territory by implementing measures such as temporary housing or storage of movable property”.

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