Something needs to be done about housing crisis, skyrocketing rent prices, insists Quebec solidaire

Québec solidaire (QS) is calling on the Quebec government to build 10,000 new social housing units each year for five years to meet the needs of families.

The party estimates the number of families currently on housing waitlists to be 38,000.

Laurier-Dorion MNA Andrés Fontecilla says he is also urging Housing Minister Andrée Laforest to quickly set up a rent registry to control rising prices, which he says have worsened since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fontecilla argues both provincial and federal governments have been ignoring problems surrounding a lack of social housing for decades.

After touring the South Shore and Montreal, he says he noticed that rental housing currently being built is far too expensive for regular middle-class families.

Fontecilla, who is Québec solidaire's critic on housing, is calling on the CAQ government to make social housing construction its number one priority over the next year to increase the amount of affordable housing in the rental market. He laments if nothing is done, the situation will only get worse next year.

The Regroupement des comités logements et associations de locataires du Québec (RCLALQ) is also asking for the creation of a public rent register.

Tuesday, the group released a second survey analyzing rent prices in the province.

The organization explains a register will allow tenants to know exactly what rent they're expected to pay.

It notes tenants have no way to confirm if the price they are paying is correct, even if this information is supposed to be included in the lease agreement.

The RCLALQ survey concludes rental prices have jumped since last year in all regions of Quebec.

After reports of numerous cases of 'renovictions,' Rosemont MNA Vincent Marissal, with Québec solidaire, asked the Legault government to ban the practice, or at least to issue some sort of moratorium.

He bemoans the situation, which allows someone to buy a residential building, evict all the tenants and renovate it, often cosmetically, before renting it out at twice the price.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 30, 2021. 

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