Advocacy for investment in community and social housing

The summer wish list for most Quebecers looks the same year after year: picking your next vacation spot, reaching for your beach bag, decorating your backyard or balcony, enjoying a good barbecue meal, all while bathing in sunscreen.

But for too many low-income households in Quebec, including more and more families, the only desire is to hope to be able to live in decent housing. One month after 1uh July, the signatories of this text want to remind our decision makers what public and social housing is for: to offer those who need it a home in a healthy and safe living environment.

Over 50 years, developers and managers of communal and social housing have gained incomparable experience and solid knowledge in their field. More than ever, their daily actions contribute to the fight against social and economic inequality. Even today, they support 190,000 low- and modest-income families established in all regions of Quebec.

Leaders, administrators, and employees of cooperatives, housing authorities, and non-profit organizations have been dedicated for at least half a century to providing decent housing in healthy and safe conditions for an ever-growing number of citizens. Like education, health or social services professionals working with vulnerable populations, these social and community housing professionals support thousands of Quebec households each year.

To date, buildings owned and operated by these organizations are valued at more than $20 billion. These properties were financed by public funds at all levels of government. It goes without saying that today’s governments have a responsibility to ensure the sustainability of these investments by continuing the work begun by their predecessors and by remaining active partners in community and social housing reconstruction and construction projects.

Who today would think of abandoning a house built by their own hands, without doing anything to ensure its sustainability? Who today would think of turning down the support offered to loved ones in need so that they avoid dangerous situations or even become homeless?

A public choice made 50 years ago to invest in community and social housing by generating the funding needed to support low-income or vulnerable tenants is today supporting these 190,000 or so households. This collective decision goes a long way towards preventing and even reducing homelessness, providing parents with housing that allows their children to continue in school, and maintaining stable housing for the elderly.

Today, we all have a stake in preserving these societal gains by protecting our collective housing stock, adequately funding the construction of new public and social housing, and simplifying the procedures and administrative steps that make these projects difficult to implement.

The issue of adequate funding for community and social housing is directly related to the fate of thousands of families in Quebec. Chronic underfunding not only contributes to increasing homelessness and the deterioration of the housing security of a large number of young families and independent older people, but, of course, undermines all efforts made to combat poverty.

In addition, community support for these people, whose funding will benefit from the increase, reduces the burden on our health and social services. It also makes it easier to support immigrant families in their new living environment.

Quebec society must renew its collective commitment to providing a roof for all. Organizations in the community and social housing sector today reaffirm their commitment to using their experience and know-how to benefit low- or modest-income Quebecers.

What will be the commitment of political parties to housing issues in Quebec? To get acquainted with them, the main leaders of the political parties participating in the next elections were invited to the pre-election debates on September 13 next year within the framework of 8e Colloquium RQOH.

*André Castonguet, Executive Director of the Quebec Network of Housing NGOs (RQOH), Anne Demers, Executive Director, Regroupement des office d’habitation du Québec (ROHQ), Yves Dubes, President of the Quebec Federation of Low Rent Tenants (FLHLMQ). ), Ambroise Henri, President of the Association of Technical Resource Groups of Quebec (AGRTQ), Véronique Laflamme, Spokesman for the Popular Action Front for Urban Improvement (FRAPRU), Sandra Tourjeon, Executive Director, Quebec Confederation of Cooperatives (CQCH)

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