Madam Speaker, today I have the pleasure of speaking to the opposition motion.
I will be sharing my time with the member for Kingston and the Islands.
I am happy to have a chance to talk about the impact that our government's investments in housing are having in Quebec.
Last week, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development was in Montreal to announce three new affordable housing projects valued at more than $27.6 million. One of these projects will provide housing for 78 families and individuals, including newcomers.
It is very exciting to see community partners coming together to support this project by the Société de gestion Querbes. The Caisse d'économie solidaire Desjardins is also contributing to this project, and the Regroupement des organismes du Montréal ethnique pour le logement, or ROMEL, will offer a wide range of support services to the newcomers who will be living in this building.
This project is a great example of what can be achieved through the national housing strategy, a suite of unprecedented federal housing investments in communities across Quebec and Canada. From coast to coast to coast, the national housing strategy offers housing solutions that meet local needs and are supported by the community.
Another great example is a building slated for construction this March in Quebec City. It will have 131 rooms for emergency and support services for homeless and vulnerable individuals, as well as 18 transitional housing units for people living with a mental health condition. Services will be provided by Maison de Lauberivière, and a $32.5-million joint investment by the governments of Canada, Quebec and Quebec City will cover construction costs.
More and more projects like this are taking shape, and more and more families are moving into quality affordable housing units located in inclusive communities. Other projects will be announced in the coming weeks for Quebec. These innovative projects will meet the needs of vulnerable people and middle-class families.
Like all provinces, Quebec has affordable housing issues and not enough affordable housing to meet demand. In Montreal, that might mean there is a need for more affordable housing for newcomer families and at-risk populations. In the regions, recent consultations revealed needs that are different but just as worrisome.
In September 2017, we were fortunate to have a visit from the minister. He consulted with people in the community, including homeless people, people in vulnerable situations, and representatives of affordable housing groups. When it comes to housing, we often talk about metropolitan areas and the regions, but the suburbs have their own challenges. That is why the minister came to hear what stakeholders in my region had to say and get a feel for the situation. There are some very worrisome housing situations in my riding, particularly in Longueuil, where there is a shortage of accessible housing for seniors.
The low vacancy rate in Canada makes it clear that the supply of housing is insufficient to meet the growing demand. As a result, the cost of rent has gone up, which is making life increasingly difficult for those struggling to make ends meet.
As the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development said earlier, our government recognized right from day one that people across the country are having trouble finding suitable, affordable, good-quality housing. That is a serious problem that threatens the well-being of our families, our communities and our economy. That is why we started to make historic investments in our very first budget in 2016.
Since then, the Government of Canada has invested $5.7 billion across Canada, including $996 million in Quebec. Those investments have resulted in more, higher-quality affordable housing for 362,000 households, including families, seniors, women and children fleeing domestic violence, indigenous people, people with disabilities, people with mental health problems and addiction issues, and, of course, veterans and young adults.
Now the national housing strategy, which is currently being implemented, will have an even greater impact on the lives of Quebeckers.
As the minister mentioned earlier, this is a 10-year, $40-billion plan that will create 100,000 new housing units and help 530,000 families in housing need. While the member for Saskatoon West would like to see a greater emphasis on the construction of new housing, we know that it will take more than that to solve our housing problems.
We need to reinvest in renovating existing affordable housing so that families can keep living in them, without having to worry about overcrowding, drafty windows, mould behind the walls or dangerous staircases. That is why our plan will help repair and renew over 300,000 housing units.
The NDP platform makes no mention of reinvesting in existing housing and renovation. That is an important detail.
Our plan recognizes that tackling chronic homelessness requires more than just new construction. Our plan includes a comprehensive strategy to reduce it by 50%. I have already talked about homelessness in my riding. Consultations have been held regarding Canada's homelessness strategy, and the community shelter in Saint-Eustache is going to receive $281,000 between 2015 and 2019 so it can address homelessness in Saint-Eustache and the Lower Laurentians.
The national housing co-investment fund is a major pillar of the plan that supports the two projects I mentioned earlier. The objectives of the fund are ambitious, namely to build up to 60,000 affordable homes and to repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes over the next 10 years.
This program focuses on local partnerships that meet the community's unique needs. We are supporting projects that bring together all levels of government, private and non-profit housing providers, and many community organizations.
In addition to this fund, there is the rental construction financing initiative, which provides low-interest loans specifically designed for developers to encourage the construction of more than 14,000 housing units in areas where the need is clearly demonstrated. By 2021, this initiative will have received $3.75 billion, which will be used to develop rental housing projects.
The $2-million affordable housing innovation fund is another initiative brought in by our government. It was launched in 2016 and will be used to finance 4,000 new housing units through new funding models and innovative building techniques.
These programs, all run by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, prioritize projects that exceed requirements in terms of affordability, accessibility and energy efficiency.
Quebec families trying to make ends meet will benefit the most from this fund. Investing in solutions to meet their housing needs will also benefit Quebec's economy. It will create employment in the residential construction and renovation sectors. It will also make communities more equitable, inclusive and prosperous.
Housing partnership agreements reached with the provinces and territories are another key element of our plan. We are working very closely with the newly elected Quebec government and discussions are well under way. The two levels of government are negotiating with Quebeckers' needs and interests in mind.
I am extremely proud of the collaboration and productive partnerships fostered by the national housing strategy. Developers from both the private and non-profit sectors are behind us and are keen to be part of this movement, which will make our communities stronger, more inclusive and more resilient. Best of all, a growing number of Quebeckers will be getting an affordable and better built home.
I hope that all members, especially my colleagues representing Quebeckers, will be asked to support the national housing strategy and to encourage people in their ridings to take advantage of the incredible opportunities afforded by the strategy.