OTTAWA — The conclusions of a report on the housing market published by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) concerned NDP Housing Critic, Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga).

“Despite an overall increase in vacancy rates for rental housing, we must remain vigilant. Rental costs have increased twice as quickly as inflation,” said Boutin-Sweet.

According to the CMHC, the average vacancy rate has gone from 2.2% to 2.6% in Canadian cities. For the MP, this is good news because it reduces some of the upward pressure on rents. In Montreal, the rate is 2.8%, just below the equilibrium rate of 3%.

“Even if the situation has improved in Montreal, it remains critical in some parts of Quebec, particularly in Abitibi where there is still an extreme shortage. In Val-D’Or, the rate is at 0%,” added the MP. “In many big Canadian cities like Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Regina, Thunder Bay and Toronto, vacancy rates remain below 2%.”

Boutin-Sweet believes that a national housing strategy, as proposed by the NDP, and the construction of new social housing units with the provinces, territories and municipalities, could greatly contribute to resolving the shortages of rental housing.