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17-01-2022 | By : Thanh Ngoan Le

Affordable housing in Quebec: the essentials to know

In recent months, there have been many changes regarding residential rental properties. We are currently experiencing a housing crisis. The implementation of teleworking policies has played an important role in this. Increasing the supply of housing on the residential real estate market in Quebec is one of the options to consider in order to remedy this situation.

How to explain the housing crisis?


Since March 2020, the whole world has been going through a pandemic that weighs heavily, especially for the most vulnerable among us. In real estate, accessibility to residential housing has been difficult and remains an important issue.

Indeed, the province of Quebec has not been spared by the housing crisis. Various factors are at the root of this situation: a very low vacancy rate for available housing units, a shortage of available housing units, the increase in average rents, inflation, difficulties in accessing property, the lack of construction of rental housing and social housing, the heaviness of the Régie du logement, difficulties in raising the down payment necessary for the purchase of a first property from citizens, the bureaucratic heaviness in order to build buildings affordable housing and obtaining plans, permits, documents to build, renovate, convert buildings into affordable housing. Because of this shortage, rents are often too infrequently affordable for low-income families, affected by the rising cost of living. One of the possible solutions would be to increase the supply of affordable housing in Quebec.

The first steps of an affordable housing project

You should know that in Canada and especially in Quebec, there are several organizations that invest in and finance affordable housing, including the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ), Ivanoé Cambridge (a subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec), the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, social investors, foundations, non-profit and for-profit organizations - such as Bâtir son quartier - the Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM), the Work Unit for the Implementation of Student Housing (UTILE), the Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal (OMHM), municipalities, RCMs, community groups, landlords and real estate developers .

In order to learn more about affordable housing in Quebec, you can get information from the resources mentioned above, as they can act as a guide in these types of projects. The latter offer various solutions with the aim of facilitating access to affordable housing, such as low-cost housing programs (HLM), by the Société d'habitation du Québec with the Initiative for the rapid creation of housing ( ICRL), the AccesLogis Program and finally, the 20-20-20 by-law of the city of Montreal which provides for 20% social, affordable and family housing.

Several types of properties relate to affordable housing: there are single family homes, apartment complexes, rental buildings, housing cooperatives, affordable housing complexes, institutions (ex. school, church) which can be converted into housing, and several others.

Real estate appraisal as part of your affordable housing project

When you want to start an affordable housing construction project, it is recommended that you call on certified appraisers for consultation purposes for all stages of the project. These evaluation professionals are able to produce in-depth studies and analyzes in order to consolidate the steps of such a project.

For this type of project, what would be the relevant services of a chartered appraiser?

  • The production of evaluation reports for your fundraising;
  • Understanding the rental market, the types of apartments in demand, the types of housing units required;
  • The analysis of the lesser income method;
  • Housing rental programs;
  • Research for the zoning of properties while considering the possibilities of tax exemptions and certain tax treatments;
  • The analysis of the cost of rebuilding an old building or an existing building as a basis of market value for borrowing purposes;
  • Analysis of land, vacant buildings with potential for redevelopment;
  • Obtaining assumptions and analyzes on the private market;
  • Consulting to help plan new projects, adapt existing properties, help organizations facing various situations for the first time.

Know that Caprea can assist you in several stages of your real estate project. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 514-223-2155 or by email at 



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