I'm glad you asked me that question. I didn't have time to address it in my presentation, but I wanted to tell you about it. The problem is renovating, improving and modernizing existing low-income housing to which the federal government contributed more than 25 years ago. The federal government has responsibilities to the provinces, to municipalities and, most importantly, to the households in low-income housing. However, those units have often been poorly or inadequately maintained. Preventive maintenance has been neglected for decades. In Quebec, we are facing a significant deficit, to the point that, as we have seen in Toronto in particular, buildings and low-income housing units are boarded up and uninhabitable because of a lack of proper subsidies to keep them in good condition.
Currently, the Fédération des locataires d'habitations à loyer modique du Québec estimates that Quebec needs $420 million a year to refurbish its 71,000 low-income housing units. For its part, the Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal, which owns 12 boarded-up buildings totalling almost 300 low-income housing units, needs $1.2 billion over five years or $150 million per year for 20 years to complete its 2017 replacement, improvement and modernization plan.
Just this week, I spoke to the director of the Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal, which has just received its budget for 2020-2021. This budget will not even allow for the restoration and rental of low-income housing that has become vacant simply because the occupants had to leave for one reason or another. In short, not only are we unable to refurbish and rent out boarded-up housing, but we are not even able to rent out those whose previous occupants just left. It makes no sense.
In our opinion, this is the responsibility of both levels of government, but certainly and first and foremost of the Government of Quebec, which is the main funder. For years, if not decades, it has systematically refused the preventive maintenance plans proposed by groups and municipalities to keep the supply of low-income housing in good condition. As someone who has been working in the field for a long time, I can attest to it. So this is the first urgent priority.
Furthermore, not only is the national housing strategy's funding for retrofitting buildings in good condition clearly insufficient, but we are also outraged that the government is maintaining its game plan to eventually stop funding and subsidizing the rent of the families that will occupy those units. From now on, after a decade or so, the responsibility will fall on neighbours, provinces, municipalities and territories. It makes no sense for the government to offload the responsibility and thereby abandon poor families. That was the second point I wanted to make.
The third point relates to the need for social housing. As I mentioned, in a number of large cities in Quebec, but also in Canada, we are seeing huge increases in the cost of rent. Poor families are no longer able to find decent housing in large cities. Financially, this would require impossible efforts on their part, because their budgets are clearly insufficient.
For its part, the government has chosen to fund what it calls affordable housing. Affordable housing is not affordable for low-income households and households in core housing need. Affordability is relative. What is affordable for you and me is not affordable for a poor family.
To have lower rents, we must stop setting targets based on current prices and instead set targets based on the ability of tenants to pay. To do so, we need to subsidize rents. The only solution is to rebuild and develop the supply of social housing so that we are not constantly starting all over again. Right now, among OECD members, Canada ranks 16th in terms of the proportion of social housing on its territory. This is obscene. We are part of the G7. Abandoning poor households in this way makes no sense. On our end, we believe that the government needs to drastically review its investments in developing new social housing and, above all, to focus its efforts in this sector.
We can't even blame the private market; it's doing its job, it's trying to make a profit. I'm sorry, but when you're out to make a profit, it's not true that—