CORPIQ qualifies absurd Québec solidaire's proposal to prohibit evictions of tenants for the expansion or subdivision of housing when the vacancy rate in the sector is less than 3%. This measure would go against the housing needs stated by the same party.
"Québec solidaire wants one thing and its opposite. A few weeks ago, its deputy Andrès Fontecilla complained that there is less housing available, especially large units for families" replied CORPIQ's Director of Public Affairs, Hans Brouillette.
"Landlords who wish to modify the divisions of a dwelling do so to meet the demand. Some proceed with a subdivision to create more units. As for enlargements, they allow families to be better housed. "
According to CORPIQ, Québec solidaire is not at its first contradiction. This party denounces the poor state of the housing stock and calls on the government to act, but at the same time calls for even more restrictive rent control.
"Rent control has already reached a devastating point. By forcing a landlord to wait 32 years to recoup renovation expenses through rent, it blocks any possibility of repair and results in serious problems in the housing or the structure of the building. The only way to recover the cost of the work then becomes to keep the dwelling vacant for 12 months to re-rent it at the market price without any possible challenge from the new tenant. We must avoid keeping units vacant for months while the vacancy rate decreases," continued Mr. Brouillette.
CORPIQ points out that demographic needs are changing. The subdivision or expansion of a dwelling may occur once every 40 or 50 years, and more likely never. It is often the last solution to keep in the rental market a building in poor condition that no longer generates profits. The next step is conversion or use of the land to build condominiums.
CORPIQ is aware that the rent can be high for some evicted tenants when they relocate, even with the three-month rent allowance and moving costs to which they are entitled and rents in Quebec are the lowest in the country. The government should invest more in its Rental Allowance program, which has been capped at $80 per month for many years, also by improving assistance to families so that they have more housing choices. The government should also introduce a bonding program for low-income tenants, since the prohibition on requiring a security deposit makes landlords septic of certain clienteles.
Rather than attacking the historical right of ownership and management of all landlords in Quebec, it would be wiser to intervene more severely against the small minority of cases where the right to evict is invoked, but for subdivisions or expansions that do not materialize.
Let us not forget that Québec solidaire is the same party that succeeded in having its Bill 492 passed in 2016, causing a setback in property rights in Quebec and creating discrimination based on age.
Since prohibiting landlords from taking over the home of a tenant aged 70 or older, even to house their own children or parents, we have prevented families from being able to live under the same roof. At the same time, it has created a risk of renting to seniors and weakening the resale value of a building. Older tenants who are looking for housing are the first victims.