Quebec housing groups say CAQ government hasn't kept promise to increase funding
Out of the 14,000 affordable housing units promised by the Coalition Avenir Québec government, there are still more than 9,000 left to be completed, according to a coalition of Quebec housing non-profits, who say funding for several projects has run out.
"It's something we were promised years ago and the need is getting greater," said Claire Garnier of the Fédération des OSBL d'Habitation de Montréal (FOHM), a federation of non-profit housing groups.
The federation held a news conference in Montreal Tuesday, urging the provincial government to increase the funding it set aside to help fund 50 per cent of the costs associated with building those 14,000 units.
Due to inflation and rising construction costs, the federation says the government funding only covers about 32 per cent of costs.
The federation says it now needs $571 million from Quebec to pay for the projects that were planned or were already underway and had to be paused because of the shortfall.
Yves Marcotte, the president of Rêvanous, a non-profit that provides housing and support to cognitively challenged adults, says his organization had to put two such projects on ice because funds ran out.
"The CAQ promised and didn't deliver," he said.
Growing wait lists
With the growing need for affordable housing in the province, Marcotte says Rêvanous is stuck with a waiting list of 140 people — that continues to grow.
"They're really in despair. [Parents and caregivers] are really looking for a solution. They're saying, 'What am I going to do with my kid?'" he said.
"A lot of these people may end up in the street and it will cost a lot more for the government."
Marcotte says he joined the organization after his son, who is 35, obtained an apartment in the building it runs.
"He's completely autonomous," he said. "For us parents, you have no idea how much of a relief it is."
Marcotte's son works and can perfectly complete most of the tasks he needs but struggles with managing finances, Marcotte explained.
He said Rêvanous provides support with that, along with a host of other workshops on everyday chores and social interactions on "all the things we take for granted."
The housing groups federation has requested a meeting with the province's minister responsible for housing, a relatively new ministry in Quebec, but says it hasn't yet received a response.
The minister, France-Élaine Duranceau, told CBC News at the National Assembly Tuesday that the government is "working on it."
"For every good project, there's going to be money to complete those projects but they have to be far enough in their readiness to get the financing," Duranceau said.