Quebec's housing crisis overlooked in latest budget, APQ says

$1.8bn not enough to combat province-wide housing shortage, association argues

Quebec's housing crisis overlooked in latest budget, APQ says

The Association des Propriétaires du Québec (APQ), a group representing landlords in the province, has criticized the government's 2024-2025 budget for failing to prioritize solutions to the housing crisis gripping Quebec.

In a statement released Monday, APQ said it “has been very disappointed by the announcements.”

While acknowledging the importance of health and education, the association argued these shouldn't overshadow the urgent need for housing reform.

“Housing is at a turning point with a real housing crisis, and yet the government's two priorities are Health and Education,” APQ wrote. “Two very important positions, but why forget all the other areas?”

The $8.8 billion budget, presented by finance minister Eric Girard on March 12, followed a November 2023 fiscal update that included a $1.8 billion allocation over five years to build 8,000 new housing units.

APQ said these measures fall short of addressing the severity of the housing crisis and would not help renovate the existing rental stock.

“Builders' associations, CMHC, all agree that there is a shortage of hundreds of thousands of housing units in Quebec,” the group said. “The budget does not contain any assistance to renovate the rental stock. No incentive to stimulate construction and renovation.”

The APQ further criticized the lack of tax incentives for building material purchases, noting Finance Minister Girard's previous dismissal of such proposals.

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“The proposal to credit or eliminate the QST on building materials that have not been retained by the CAQ,” APQ said. “Last September, Minister Girard announced his reluctance in this regard: ‘It is a measure that is expensive and diffuse when we look at the number of housing units that will be created.’”

There are also no new policies concerning rent control and depreciation periods, the association pointed out.

“The only positive point for tenants is the extension of the Shelter Allowance until 2027,” it said.

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