The Conservative Party of Quebec approaches things differently from the old parties. The CPQ sees the market as a powerful tool, rather than an obstacle. We must allow our entrepreneurs the freedom to act. By liberalizing the market. we can accelerate the construction of low-cost housing. Housing itself is not in crisis, save that it is subject to an outdated and inefficient regulatory model that nobody anywhere wants to imitate. We need to remove the obstacles caused by burdensome regulation in order to encourage the creation of new housing at reasonable prices.
The old parties openly deplore the current problems in housing, but they pretend not to understand the causes. Politicians have long obstructed a free and productive housing market in favour of short-sighted electoral advantages, pretending they can "protect" tenants from the vicissitudes of the market by strengthening rent controls. The result of this opportunistic vision has been a significant shortage of affordable housing.
We need to restore the equilibrium by making investment in rental properties competitive with other investment alternatives, while continuing to provide assistance to poorer tenants through the Housing Benefit program.
DID YOU KNOW?
- There is a shortage of rental housing for people with modest incomes. According to the CMHC, in 2020 the vacancy rate for affordable housing in Montreal was only 1.6% for households with incomes under $25,000 (rents under $625) and 1.4% for households between $25,000 and $36,000 (rents between $625 and $899).
- From 1996 to 2019, the average after-tax income of renters increased much faster than the average rent in Quebec.
- According to the calculations of the Administrative Housing Tribunal. in 1985 amortization of the costs of major work on rental housing allowed for recovery of the investment within 5 years. Fast-forward 35 years to 2021 and we find a gradual deterioration has stretched this period of recovery to 43 years. This has led to a real lack of interest in renovating, or even maintaining, rental housing.
- Small landlords, in the majority in Quebec, are afraid of the Housing Tribunal and hold back from proposing increases beyond the small ones recommended by that body. Above all, they want to avoid going before the Tribunal: they neither have lawyers, nor the time to
- If rent-setting standards were less restrictive, investment in the rental market would increase by 66% (from $3 billion to $5 billion). Housing would be in better condition, better adapted to tenants' needs, safer, and more energy
- The cost of building a new low-income housing unit is at least 50% higher than for a range of new private units of comparable capacity. Public management provides fewer incentives to control costs, and low-cost housing remains much more expensive to build than private housing.
- For the same amount of money, "per capita" subsidies can accommodate four times as many beneficiaries as "per brick" It makes much more sense for governments to supplement rents for low-income families than to subsidize so-called "social housing."
- Tenants have the right to continuity in their living spaces and to be protected against unfair rent increases.
- Landlords need an incentive to maintain and improve their rental
- So-called "social" and subsidized housing is not a solution to all problems. This type of housing does not solve the issues faced by the average tenant. It is, however, a solution for people who have specific problems that the market does not adequately address: motor disabilities, mental health and substance abuse issues, very large families, and work disabilities. For all the it remains preferable to help them directly through existing housing allowances or rent supplement programs.
- The state is a disinterested landlord that lacks the incentives to properly maintain low-income housing units. We must help people with particular problems, but it is better to do so through targeted allowances than by subsidizing concrete. This will make it easier for tenants who are having difficulty finding housing to choose the living environment that is right for them. It will also save them from waiting for years on eligibility lists while the people who find loopholes jump ahead of them.
A RENT-SETTING METHOD THAT BENEFITS ALL PARTIES
THE CPQ IS COMMITTED TO:
- Calling for a revision of the Regulation respecting the criteria for the fixing of rent and entrust this responsibility to an economically oriented authority so that it could assess the current situation free from the influence of politicians.
- Abolishing the recourse to rent review under Section G of the standard lease if the true amount of the previous rent is This type of clause is found only in Quebec, and nowhere else in Canada or the rest of the world.
- Exempting fully renovated dwellings from rent control for a period of five years, in order to encourage landlords to upgrade their dwellings, after the tenant has left, and to approach the work as a total rather than doing renovations in a sketchy, piecemeal fashion.
- Exempting high rents from rent.
- Improving housing benefits for the most economically disadvantaged.
- Opposing the maintenance of Lease registries, a costly and unnecessary expense that has been abandoned by other
- Allowing for a security deposit of one- or two-months' rent in a trust as is customary throughout Canada, North America, and Europe. This voluntary arrangement is intended to reduce the large losses incurred by landlords when units are damaged and/or rents are not This would also allow tenants on social assistance to win the confidence of a prospective landlord.
HELPING LOW-INCOME TENANTS, NOT SUBSIDIZING CONCRETE
THE CPQ IS COMMITTED TO:
- Helping people who have specific problems in accessing the rental market. and to do so through allowances within existing housing-benefit or rent supplement programs rather than subsidizing the construction of additional low-income housing. Target better, manage less.
- Reducing the cost of building new rental housing, including low-income housing. Significant savings could be achieved by relaxing construction industry regulations and revising certain provisions of the Building Code that unnecessarily restrict the versatility of workers on construction In addition, it is unreasonable to demand that older buildings be renovated to the expensive standards of this Code.
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