Social Housing

What is social housing? 

My Roof—My Rights! 

Social housing is collective housing that serves the community rather than private interests. Social housing is non-profit, meaning that it doesn’t seek to generate profit by renting or selling property.  

For this reason, social housing programs (HLM/CO-OP/NPO) can offer lower rent than what’s available on the private market. The quality of housing units is generally higher than what low-income households can usually afford when renting privately.  

Social Housing: The Current Context 

According to the SHQ, in Quebec, over 37,000 households are on waiting lists for social housing. Over 23,000 of those households are in Montréal alone.  

Disengagement at the Provincial Level 

The provincial government published its new Programme d’habitation abordable Québec (PHAQ), which became available on the private market on March 1st, 2022 (when the call for projects was launched). That said, the program’s description did not provide any definition of which affordable housing would be included, nor did it clearly identify which low-income households could benefit from the program. 

  • Furthermore, while the PHAQ is supposed to serve low-income households, the Minister Laforest has not confirmed whether projects can rely on subsidies from the rent supplement program. The PHAQ’s regulatory framework makes no mention of it.  
  • Without these parameters, there could be admissible projects that do not provide any dwellings for low-income households 

Moreover, it was announced that the PHAQ would “replace” Accèslogis. The Minister has yet to confirm her intent to abolish it completely.  

  • She also has yet to confirm the sums to be added to Accèslogis for the nearly 10,000 units that have already been planned, promised and scheduled, but are not yet built. She did not comment on the government’s 2022-2023 budget.  

The FRAPRU and its members launched a campaign entitled “Faut de l’$$ pour le logement social (We Need $$ for Social Housing). Its mission is to apply pressure to the Legault government to provide large-scale funding to Accèslogis, ensuring that the still-awaited 10,000 social housing units are built, and that 10,000 new units will be developed every year for 5 years.  

The campaign’s objectives are the following:  

  • Apply pressure for the construction of social housing (including co-ops, NPOs and HLMs);  
  • Save the Accèslogis program.  

At the Federal Level  

On January 13, 2022, additional investments to maintain the current rental housing market and construct affordable social housing were confirmed over the course of the next 10 years.  

The issues related to the Federal Community Housing Initiative (FCHI) are the following:  

  • The financial investment isn’t recurring;  
  • The program doesn’t meet all identified needs;  
  • And the program doesn’t provide individual support—that falls on the Gouvernement du Québec.  

Given that the money invested by Ottawa is given to Quebec without clear guidelines, the Legault government is currently using it to create private affordable housing through funding from real estate developers.  

The federal budget has not yet been shared publicly, but we sense some openness toward our demands.  

Our Demands  

Actions must be taken to protect and ensure the longevity of social housing programs!  

We demand the following from different levels of government: 

  • That the funds made available by the federal government for the creation of affordable housing be invested in social housing 
  • That the provincial government invest significantly in the Accèslogis program to immediately deliver the 7,000 housing units that are still outstanding. 
  • That the next budget include a new multi-year program to build 10,000 social housing units (including co-operatives, NPOs and HLMs) every year. 
  • That the Ville de Montréal publicly request all necessary funds from Quebec to develop social housing and the promised 2,000 units per year 
  • That the borough develop measures to protect rental housing and defend renters’ rights 

For more information about HLMs, visit the website of the Office municipale d’habitation de Montréal (OMHM): 

To learn more about housing NPOs, visit the website of the Fédération des OSBL d’habitation de Montréal (FOHM): (available in French) 

For more information about co-ops, visit the website of the Fédération des coopératives d’habitation intermunicipale du Montréal métropolitain (FECHIMM) 

The Comité logement du Plateau regularly offers workshops about social housing. Attending these workshops will provide you with all the information you need to determine what type of social housing best suits your needs and, if you’re eligible, help you get into a co-op, housing NPO or HLM.  

Call us to register for our next workshop!  

The future of social housing is precarious—let’s fight to preserve what we’ve won!  

How do I get involved? By becoming a member of the CLPMR, you’ll receive information about our activities and collective actions around social housing as well as our collective agreements. You can also organize with us! The more people we have, the more pressure we can apply. Solidarity is one of the most important assets in our struggle!