Seven real estate developers unite to tackle the housing crisis

In order to combat the housing crisis currently raging in Quebec, social economy real estate companies in the city have joined forces to create the Alliance of Affordable Housing Corporations in Greater Montreal (ACHAT), which aims to increase the availability of social housing in the region.

According to Sébastien Parent-Durand, General Manager of ACHAT, the seven founding members (Corporation Mainbourg, Espace La Traversée, Hapopex, Interloge, SHAPEM, SOLIDES and UTILE) are major owners and developers of affordable real estate who will ensure a « peripheral view on the market, in particular by doing continuous scouting to acquire land and buildings that will be transformed into affordable housing.

The Director General said he was « optimistic » about the impacts of the merger in the region, adding that he wanted to « operate a change of scale » to meet the growing needs caused by the housing crisis.

“We really want to reach out to the various housing stakeholders in Quebec, i.e. public partners, provincial and federal governments, but also cities, which are increasingly involved in housing issues,” said he said in an interview.

According to Mr. Parent-Durand, the alliance of several companies will also make it possible to hire « pooled resources » – in other words, to share the same resources -, thus achieving economies of scale and increasing the capacity of delivery of units.

« The idea of ​​pooling could even go so far as to merge companies, » he said. All the stones must be turned around so that we can put in place innovative solutions to get up to speed in the market, to succeed in competing and producing more housing with a social mission. »

If he waits to have established a solid partnership with government institutions before moving forward, the director maintained that the ACHAT had “a lot of ideas” to fight against the housing shortage.

“Our goal is to use our expertise, our ideas and our proposals to eventually set ambitious growth objectives with various partners,” he summarized.

A necessary collaboration

Asked about its collaboration with the provincial government, Sébastien Parent-Durand assured that the ACHAT aims to adopt an « entrepreneurial approach » and that it will work in partnership with political decision-makers in order to accelerate affordable real estate development and protect the tenants.

“We are currently experiencing some growth in the purchase of our housing stock, despite relatively low investments for several years. Imagine the growth that we could experience if Quebec invested sums commensurate with the problem, ”he said.

He also said that working together across different sectors was essential, adding that no one could succeed “on their own”.

The PURCHASE is currently in its infancy, with the first employee being hired only a few months ago. However, Mr. Parent-Durand remains enthusiastic about the unveiling of the existence of the group, and hopes that this initiative will allow Montreal tenants to cope with the “staggering” increase in rents.

This article was produced with the financial support of the Meta Fellowships and The Canadian Press for News.

To see in video


Back to top button