Friday, June 2, 2023

A “housing community” to overcome the housing crisis

Budget 2022-2023 The Minister of Finance wants to promote “Quebec”, but does not have any measure that would move communities to the creation of community solidarity, especially in terms of the creation of social and affordable housing.

For this reason, I suggest the building site, “housing community dance 2.0” as happened in the early 1980s when interest rates reached 20% and housing and properties became immovable.

This chore would partly respond to the lack of accommodation in today’s speculative context, where it seems difficult to reason about the simple principle of correctness without the hope of seeing changes in the medium and long term. Let’s think about the eviction of “renewed” settlers, the transformation of housing into “Airbnb” tourists and the speculation that essentially favors the construction of luxury condos on public transport routes such as the REM in Montreal and the tramway in Quebec.

In times of housing crisis (lack and cost of construction) we must seek the solution of our comfort in order to move the vitality of our citizens and the economy of Quebec in collective priorities where everyone can contribute. For this reason, we propose an example of the budget of the Minister of Finance “occupied by Quebec” with the most disadvantaged, which facilitates both access to affordable housing in a context where land and religious buildings are vacant and in demand. The new call I would like to make is the “community” type.

The findings are implacable: the Quebec government’s supply of social and affordable housing is clearly insufficient, ie financing 5,200 housing units over five years, while the simple needs of the states of Quebec (500 units) and Montreal (2000) are 2,500 per. only one year, not counting the needs of the other regions of Quebec. Of course, there are various programs, but these are lined up in provincial and municipal bureaucracies that create a bottleneck, so that it is impossible to build social and affordable housing, inflation with no project due to the lack of accessible land, or construction costs outside established standards. .

Couldn’t we send the structure of the “housing dance” type of the program of 1982-85, organizing in the medium and long term the construction of affordable housing in the land belonging to religious communities or closed churches and failing due to a lack of vocation? How is that achieved? Regions of churches and religious communities have been marketed by municipalities in Quebec to decline religious practice. These vacant lots and buildings are often located in the middle of Quebec towns or villages in central locations that are easily accessible.

The Government of Quebec should mandate the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ), the Union of Municipalities of Quebec (UMQ) and the Federation of Municipalities of Quebec (FMQ) as well as the Council of Religious Heritage of Quebec to give it a portrait of the development. the possibilities of social affairs and affordable housing in their territories from religious buildings and vacant lands (churches, presbyteries and assemblies, etc.).

Afterwards, the summit bringing together all those who are interested could move for a period of 10 years the project of “housing community” for the conversion of vacant land and religious buildings” to allow disadvantaged citizens (elderly, new immigrants”; homeless people, recipients of social assistance) to decent housing to be found Are we ready to collectively take on such a challenge? Yes, if Quebec commits to him!

Photo provided by Jean Baillargeon

Jean Baillargeon, Strategic Communications Consultant

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