With the election campaign underway at the beginning of this month, the subject of housing has not taken long to make the headlines.
CORPIQ also took the opportunity to issue an opinion letter in Le Soleil where it states that a clearly defined strategy must be put forward, including: development, financing, unlocking, and protection of Quebec's housing stock. In this context of election campaigns across the province, different parties have made their promises regarding the housing shortage.
Thus, we can read in the Journal de Montréal that the city of Montreal accounts for more than half of this shortfall. In the Outaouais region, the federal government is promising to build more than 17,000 housing units, 6,000 of which would be considered affordable. In this article from Radio-Canada, it states that this action plan would cost nearly $2 billion. By the way, the APCHQ also recommended aiming at densification to address the housing crisis in the Outaouais to fill the housing deficit. In this regard, the organization wants to put an end to "not in my backyard" talk about densification, when it is needed more than ever. For example, according to the executive director of the organization in the Outaouais region, projects that would increase the zoning from 8 to 10 storeys must stop being blocked by a dozen protesters. It is also in this region that the co-spokesperson of Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, promises several thousand units of social housing. The party also promises 1000 dwellings in Northern Quebec if elected, and a total of approximately 25,000 social housing units across the province, according to this article from La Presse.
On the other hand, not surprisingly, the Bank of Canada's policy rate underwent a further increase. This does nothing to alleviate the imbalance in the rental market since the increase in interest rates has a direct impact on the 60% of property landlords who have a variable rate mortgage. We must not forget that the variation of the increase in interest rates is not recognized in the calculations of the Tribunal administratif du logement, as the Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations of CORPIQ reminded us in this article. While this could be a drag on rental prices, the opposite is true in terms of the sale value of homes. For example, we talk about house prices which could drop by 25% by the beginning of 2023. In fact, in an article from La Presse a 9% decrease has already been noted since April for the Montreal region. In the Quebec City area, the slowdown is also being felt, where a decrease in transactions of about 10%. was noted for the month of August.
Finally, a testimony from CORPIQ was collected in an article from Le Devoir on the proposed "responsible landlord" certification and rent roll that the City of Montreal wants to apply to property landlords. The Commission sur le développement économique et urbain et l'habitation now wants the rent registry to be updated every year instead of every five years, and the certification to apply to dwellings with six or more units instead of eight. CORPIQ has expressed its firm opposition to a rent registry that has not proven its usefulness in other places where it has been implemented, and that building inspections should target older buildings. In short, resources should be used to rebalance the housing supply.