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Solutions to Quebec's housing crisis? Opposition parties have five

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Opposition parties in the national assembly are tossing out proposals for how to solve Quebec's housing crisis, arguing that the government's housing bill lacks sufficient answers.

Official Opposition Liberals want a QST exemption on building materials, millions of dollars for municipalities to cut bureaucratic delays and a rapid connection to hydro.

Quebec solidaire (QS), meanwhile, wants tax credits for intergenerational homes, in addition to an end to blind bidding.

The CAQ's housing legislation (Bill 31) was introduced by Housing Minister France-Elaine Duranceau and would limit the use of lease transfers, new rules for landlords on rent rates, ammendments to eviction rules and other housing issues. The bill is expected to be adopted in the coming weeks.

Intergenerational home builds

QS attempted to propose amendments to the CAQ bill but was unsuccessful.

The second opposition party proposed ending the blind bidding process, arguing that it inflates housing prices, and on Sunday, they suggested introducing a tax credit for the conversion or construction of intergenerational homes.

"The housing crisis affects young people looking to buy their first home as much as older people who prefer to enjoy their retirement surrounded by their family rather than in a retirement home," said QS MNA Andres Fontecilla. "Thanks to our measure, families who want to live together under the same roof will have the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: save money while helping to take the pressure off the market."

QS proposes to match Canada's CIRHM tax credit and offers a 15 per cent credit of eligible expenses of up to $50,000, for a maximum of $7,500.

"The savings made by converting and building intergenerational homes go beyond the tax credit," said Fontecilla. "Hydro bills, snow removal, municipal taxes and even groceries could all be shared, helping families to cope with the rising cost of living."

Three Liberal proposals

The Liberals say that residential construction projects are being delayed due to a lack of Hydro-Quebec connections, in addition to bureaucratic logjams in getting permits from the city.

In addition, the party argues that by eliminating the provincial sales tax from construction materials, housing starts will increase.

The PLQ proposes earmarking $200 million for municipalities to reduce the time it takes to analyze housing files and issue building permits.

"The six years lost to the CAQ have left Quebec in a precarious housing situation, and concrete action is urgently needed," said PLQ housing critic Virginie Dufour.

Dufour said there is a lack of tangible solutions in the CAQ's bill. 

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