The Plante administration and the Montreal opposition unite to demand that the Quebec government maintain the AccèsLogis social housing construction program.

The parties are jointly calling for the AccèsLogis program to be maintained and updated in order to accelerate the construction of thousands of social, community and affordable housing units in Montreal and elsewhere in Quebec. Their motion will be tabled at City Council on Monday.

In an interview with La Presse at the end of February, the Minister responsible for Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, confirmed the end of AccèsLogis1. This program makes it possible to create and offer rental of quality and affordable housing.

“We have recognized the housing crisis since day 1, and it is more urgent than ever to respond effectively to the needs of social and affordable housing in the metropolis, the lack of which affects thousands of households,” the city said in a press release. Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, adding that AccèsLogis remains, according to her, “the right vehicle to do so”.

With the creation of thousands of housing units to come in several sectors of the metropolis such as Namur-Hippodrome, Bridge-Bonaventure, Lachine-Est and the sectors around the extension of the blue line, the AccèsLogis program will be more “relevant than ever”, maintains the Plante administration.

“AccèsLogis is the only program dedicated to the construction of social and community housing. It is unthinkable to abandon it without replacing it with a viable alternative when we are experiencing a housing and affordability crisis in the metropolis,” said Official Opposition Leader Aref Salem.

In addition to maintaining the program, he wants it to be reformed by investing in it “sums commensurate with the shortage we are experiencing”. “If the Quebec government breaks this social contract, it will put many Montreal families at risk of homelessness,” he said.

In an interview with La Presse in February, the Minister responsible for Housing deplored the “slowness” of the AccèsLogis program, and pointed the finger at the promoters of social housing projects for delays of “five, six or seven years before the first shovel of earth”. “Hundreds of millions” are now “frozen” without anything moving on the ground, she lamented.

The Affordable Housing Program Quebec (PHAQ), launched a year ago, will officially take over from AccèsLogis. Following this announcement, municipalities and opposition parties strongly denounced the decision of the Quebec government.