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IRIS researchers believe that the private sector is responsible for the housing crisis

IRIS researchers believe that the private sector is responsible for the housing crisis

The Institut de recherche et d'informations socio-économiques (IRIS) continues to believe that the private sector is primarily responsible for the Québec housing crisis, and that all levels of government should invest more in building new social housing.

Three IRIS researchers, Martin Poirier, Philippe Hurteau, and Martin Petit, recently presented a socio-economic brief at a press conference at the Québec National Library in Montreal that reaffirmed similar research made public in February 2004.

The study was sponsored and financed by the RCLALQ (Regroupement des Comités logements et associations de locataires du Québec (Quebec united front of housing committees and tenants).

The researchers again pointed out that contrary to certain lobby groups that represent landlords and believe that the excessive regulation by the Régie du logement has been responsible for the housing crunch in Québec since the early 2000s.

The group believes that the crisis was provoked by builders interested only in building condos for more profits, while alleging that they are wrong to distance themselves from affordable housing that equally provides fair profit while providing landlords with many tax advantages.

Researchers go even further and state that the government should decree a moratorium to stop condominium construction in Québec.

''The current situation shows that the market is incapable to adapt to local housing rental needs. To compensate for the imbalance caused by short-term profit research conducted by real estate promoters, State intervention is required. Building moderately-priced rental housing, the implementation of housing cooperatives, and improving of cooperative models are areas that should be addressed,'' says one of the IRIS researchers.

A completely different opinion

The IRIS »s analysis of the Québec housing crisis is diametrically opposed to conclusions from researchers at the Institut économique de Montréal, among others, and the Québec Landlords Association, who believe to the contrary that the crisis is provoked by the strong intervention of the State in controlling rents. In addition, disadvantaged people should be helped more financially by lodging them in private buildings, while stopping the building of social housing.

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Berthold Lévesque

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