QUEBEC CITY -- The Regroupement québécois des residences pour seniors (RQRA) is calling on government authorities to intervene to put an end to the series of seniors' residence closures in Quebec.

The RQRA says that since Jan. 2014, more than 600 retirement homes (RPA) have closed their doors in Quebec.

Between May 31, 2019 and Dec. 3, 125 RPAs ceased operations; 93 per cent of them had less than 50 rental units.

RQRA president and CEO Yves Desjardins said he is witnessing the disappearance of a whole section of the private residences for seniors.

He said a large number of elderly people have been forced out of their homes and are unable to relocate to their community.

They are therefore forced to move into major city centres. Meanwhile, owners are abandoning their businesses and employees are losing their livelihood.

The RQRA adds that the COVID-19 pandemic is an aggravating factor. Constraints add to the burden of operating costs associated with regulatory requirements, and a growing number of seniors are unable to afford the costs of the care they need.

The RQRA is therefore calling for an improvement in the tax credit for home-support services and the application of a rent setting method that takes better account of the reality of residences for the elderly.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28, 2021.