Christine Muschi The Canadian Press Since coming to power, the CAQ has made $3.8 billion in housing announcements. But many projects have been slow to come to fruition and remain theoretical. In the photo, a Montreal construction site in June.
By doubling federal government assistance, Quebec is injecting a total of $1.8 billion more over five years to add 8,000 affordable housing units to the market. It now remains to be seen when they will emerge and when tenants will be able to benefit from them.
Since coming to power, the CAQ has made $3.8 billion in housing announcements. But many projects were slow to come to fruition and remain theoretical.
What will happen to the 8000 announced this week? The Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, is counting on two strategies to see them come to fruition: the relaxation of zoning in cities and the new accelerated training in construction.
The latter was presented last week , by the Prime Minister himself. If everything goes as planned, between 4,000 and 5,000 new construction workers could be trained by next summer.
More flexible zoning to encourage affordable housing
As for measures affecting cities, they appear in Bill 39 tabled last week by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Andrée Laforest.
The Minister of Finance wants to “help municipalities accelerate the construction of housing,” reads the plan he presented at the economic update. This will involve “more flexibility” to “densify more easily” and reduce construction time.
For example, Bill 39 would allow cities to promote social housing projects by offering them tax holidays. This would involve zoning, since the text would allow them to create new categories of buildings.
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Minister Girard also mentions that he wants to “facilitate” the development of what are called accessory dwellings, independent dwellings built as annexes to single-family homes. This measure, which is also provided for in Bill 39, would however have no direct impact on the construction of the new 8,000 units announced in the update.
What role for the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ)?
A final chapter of the highly anticipated game plan of the Government of Quebec in housing, however, remains to be announced on the side of the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ).
The SHQ, which finances public housing projects, would be called upon to intervene more in the market by acquiring buildings and transferring others to NPOs. A plan that Minister France-Élaine Duranceau has been thinking about for some time, but which remains to be announced “soon”, we promise in the update.
More details will follow.< /i>