Inflation delays the construction of social housing in Quebec
Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, construction costs for social and affordable housing have increased by 58% , according to the Société d'habitation du Québec.
Works worth $12 million will make it possible to host in this building 39 people with mental health problems, in Rosemont.
The community organization Maison le Parcours would have liked to open a rooming house last year in the heart of the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie borough.
The project must be added to other accommodation services for clients with severe and persistent mental health problems.
When it opens, we will be able to take out 39 people out of potentially life-threatening situations […], get them out of meaningless situations where they are abused by other owners, explains its coordinator, Melany Gauthier. Of course we are very proud of that.
Melany Gauthier, Coordinator, Maison le Parcours
However, the project is facing headwinds.< /p>
When it acquired the building two years ago, the community organization Maison le Parcours anticipated a budget of $10 million and 12 months of work.
The presence of asbestos has disrupted plans, as has the construction market.
Today, $2 million is missing to make a project costing $12 million viable, says Yann Omer-Kassin, development agent, head of major projects, at the group of technical resources Building your neighborhood.
The construction site for the rooming house in the borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie
This organization has been supporting for nearly 30 years of cooperative or non-profit real estate projects, in particular for the financial arrangement.
We talk about the scarcity of labour, the cost of materials and, more recently, we see the repercussions of an increase in interest rates which has an impact on the mortgage that organizations will have to pay, says Mr. Omer-Kassin.
“We have a perfect little storm between lack of housing, rising costs and a demand commitment to governments. »
— Yann Omer-Kassin, Development Officer, Head of Major Projects, Technical Resource Group Bâtir son quartier
Yann Omer-Kassin, Development Officer, Head of Major Projects, Technical Resource Group Bâtir son quartier
According to him, what is needed is a commitment from governments to adequately fund the programs.
A new federal program could also give a boost.
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La Maison le Parcours is not the only real estate project to have to review its financial plan.
According to data from the SHQ, in 2020-21, the average construction cost of social housing was $213,000, while projects under construction currently reach $338,000. An explosion of nearly $125,000 per unit or 58%.
Around 4,300 units have been delivered since 2019, according to the SHQ. A few thousand are under construction.
We are falling behind the needs, argues Mr. Omer-Kassin, of Building his neighborhood. The list of people who pay too much for their accommodation or who are in unacceptable living conditions is too long.
Daphnée Mailloux-Rousseau Director of the Accueil Bonneau Foundation.
At the x27;Accueil Bonneau, the director of the Foundation, Daphnée Mailloux-Rousseau, proposes to reduce the investment in emergency accommodation to proportionally increase the investment in affordable housing.
According to her, Toronto, Calgary, Finland have all made this shift and have drastically reduced their costs of health and social services, legal services.
For its part, the City of Montreal recently exercised a right of first refusal on 78 rooming houses that the city could acquire to preserve access for vulnerable people.
Currently in Quebec, more than 37,000 households are registered rits on the waiting list to obtain a place in an HLM or a rent supplement, about two thirds of them in Montreal.