Measures that leave one perplexedMarch 11, 2020
The second budget of Quebec Finance Minister Éric Girard, tabled yesterday, comes as no surprise to FECHIMM. As Quebec has still not reached an agreement with Ottawa on the transfer of funding under the National Housing Strategy, the decision was predictable but disappointing for the many individuals and families in search of truly affordable housing.
Budget 2020-2021 includes measures to help low-income tenants continue to pay their rent. It also provides additional funding to ensure the completion of units already promised. However, it contains no envelope to finance the construction of new housing units under the AccèsLogis program.
Renewal of 5,800 units under the Rent Supplement program
Québec City is renewing the Private Market Rent Supplement program (programme de Supplément au loyer du marché privé) for a period of five years for 5800 units. To do so, the government plans to invest $147.3 million. This measure should make it possible to avoid compromising the housing conditions of low-income households benefiting from these units when the program established by the former government expires gradually as of this fiscal year.
Implementation of projects
The budget includes additional funding of $150 million to accelerate the completion of units already announced but not completed due to insufficient initial funding. This is in addition to the $260 million announced in last year's budget to address the underfunding of community housing projects.
Although the budget does not provide any funding for new housing under the AccèsLogis program, the Minister of Finance's projections suggest that the number of units to be built over the next few years will increase. In 2019, 1 759 units were built compared to 834 in 2018. In 2020, this number should reach 2,300.
FECHIMM and all social and community housing stakeholders will therefore have to continue to put pressure on the government to make a long-term commitment to the continued development of the new units required to meet the needs.