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Housing crisis: the resignation of Minister Laforest demanded

Deploring its inaction in the face of the housing crisis, the Regrouping of housing committees and tenant associations of Quebec (RCLALQ) calls for the resignation of the Minister of Housing, Andrée Laforest, not hesitating to speak of “notorious incompetence” .

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Fearing a particularly difficult July 1, the organization accuses the CAQ government of not having taken its responsibilities, in particular of not having wanted to set up a provincial rent register.

“François Legault and Andrée Laforest have shown far too often during their mandate that they despise tenants by refusing to understand the issues that affect them,” said Marjolaine Deneault, spokesperson for the RCLALQ, in a press release on Wednesday.

The housing crisis has worsened in recent years in Quebec, spreading beyond major urban centers like Montreal. Cities like Gatineau, Shawinigan and Sherbrooke have seen the average cost of rents increase, according to the report on the rental market from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released last February.

The rental housing vacancy rate is also 2.5% for Quebec, below the equilibrium threshold of 3%. Meanwhile, an increase in fraudulent tactics to drive out tenants and raise rents has been seen among some property owners.

“There is a breach of trust between the government, the tenants and the organizations that defend them. Not only does the CAQ lend itself to the game of the lobbies of real estate owners by refraining from taking concrete actions to end the crisis, but its inaction stems from a notorious incompetence which must result in the resignation of the Minister, ” argued Ms. Deneault, who does not want to wait for the next election to replace Minister Laforest.

For the first time during her mandate, the Minister acknowledged Tuesday, in an interview with the “Journal de Québec”, that there is “a housing crisis” for the 14 Quebec cities where the vacancy rate is lower at 1%.

However, she argued that the new $300 million program for affordable housing could solve this shortage in the medium term.

A demonstration to demand rent control will be organized on Saturday by the RCLALQ.