Quebec's social housing stock is crumbling as repair costs rise, tenant group says

MONTREAL — A tenant group is speaking out about the decrepit state of social housing in Quebec, which continues to deteriorate as the cost of repairs rise.

The Fédération des locataires d'habitations à loyer modique du Québec, which represents social housing residents, said today that the number of housing units in poor or very poor condition has risen 39 per cent in the last two years.

The number of units earning a D or E grade, indicating they need major work, has gone from 18,644 in 2020 to 25,974 in 2022.

Representatives of the group spoke to reporters in front of a six-unit building in Montreal that has been barricaded since 2019. They said the repair bill for the low-rent building would have been $271,000 in 2020, but would cost $438,000 today because of inflation and rising construction costs.

The group is accusing the province of breaking its promises and is calling on François Legault's government to put up the $2.2 billion it had pledged for social housing repairs.

The province's housing agency, the Société d’habitation du Québec, estimated in 2016 that more than 700 of its low-rent units were in a poor or very poor state, representing nearly 30 per cent of its social housing stock.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2023.


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press