Housing is a major economic and social pillar in Québec. The housing sector represents annual investments of nearly $30 billion and creates hundreds of thousands of quality jobs in all regions throughout the province. Whether it be construction or renovation contractors, professionals, engineers, notaries, real estate brokers or property managers, workers in this sector generate significant economic spinoffs that benefit all Québecers.
All Québec citizens aspire to live in quality housing and deserve that the government support their efforts in reaching this fundamental goal. As owners or tenants, housing is central to the lives of 3.5 million Québec households.
The many issues that impact this sector include:
- the significant needs in housing assistance;
- a homeownership rate that puts Québec in last place out of all Canadian provinces;
- condominium reform, which has yet to come into force;
- measures that need to be taken by the Régie du logement to improve the living environment in rental buildings;
- the need to better protect consumers during real estate transactions;
- the need to renovate existing housing stock to safeguard built heritage and ensure the quality of life of occupants.
Successfully managing the scope and complexity of these issues calls for a global centralized vision backed by promising, humane, effective and inclusive measures. In our opinion, this would only be possible with a Minister responsible for Housing. This distinct department, equipped with an adequate budget, would thus be able to develop a housing policy in collaboration with the sector. The introduction of a Minister responsible for Housing would establish strong ties between the various departments and ensure clear policies as regards the Québec housing sector. This would help sustain a strong and prosperous housing sector.
Over the coming days, Mr. Legault will be deciding on the composition of his Cabinet. The many benefits of having a global view of housing issues and the importance to the industry of having a single point of contact within the government must be taken into consideration.
We are convinced that, given the quality of his team, the Premier will be able to appoint a Minister responsible for Housing to his cabinet. The importance of the housing sector to the provincial budget, to the economy, and to the resulting quality of life for citizens, justifies this portfolio.
We hope to soon be able to resume working with the government and thus contribute to the prosperity and quality of life of all citizens.
Luc Bélanger, CEO
Johanne Lamanque, Vice President, Québec
Insurance Bureau of Canada
Benoit Ste-Marie, Executive Director
Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec
Patrick Juanéda, President
Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards
Nadine Lindsay, President and CEO
Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec
Laurent Emery, General Manager
Regroupement des gestionnaires et copropriétaires du Québec