The day after July 1, at least 86 families found themselves out on the street


MONTRÉAL — Very concerned by the state of affordable rental housing in Quebec, New Democrat MP Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga) met today with two researchers from the Institut de recherche et d’informations socio-économiques (IRIS) who recently published an important paper on this issue.

The researchers conclude that the federal government’s disengagement from affordable rental housing hurts a significant segment of the population that is struggling to find adequate housing. At least 86 families found themselves out on the street following the traditional July 1st moving day, including 41 in Gatineau and 32 in Rouyn-Noranda, according to data from the Front d’action populaire en
réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU).

“It’s unacceptable for a prosperous country like ours to abandon so many of its citizens,” said Boutin-Sweet. “It’s high time for the government to commit to funding affordable and social housing across the country.”

Since 1999, the rental vacancy rate hasn’t risen above the 3% threshold, which corresponds to the equilibrium level. In some regions, like Gatineau (2.1%) and Saguenay (0.7%) the crisis has been confirmed, but the situation is even more concerning in Abitibi, where the vacancy rate approaches zero (0.2% in Val-d'Or, 0.3% in Rouyn-Noranda and 0.1% in Amos).

In a context of decreasing affordable housing and increasing rent prices, Boutin-Sweet says she’s concerned by the proportion of household income devoted to rent. According to the 2006 census, 16.1% of Quebec households, or 203,085, were spending more than half of their income on housing.

“Even if it’s conscious of the problem, the federal government is withdrawing from the funding of social housing. Families that don’t have the means to buy or rent in a context of rising property prices should be able to access this type of housing,” she concluded. 


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