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Housing crisis: the “obstacle course” of entrepreneurs described” /></p>
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<p class=Processes must be streamlined to speed up construction starts, calls for the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec. (Archive photo)

  • Julie Tremblay (View profile)Julie Tremblay

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The Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec is calling for a national housing project in order to accelerate the construction of homes in the province.

While the housing crisis continues, the administrative steps necessary to create new housing are too slow and too cumbersome, deplored the Federation in a press briefing on the subject Monday morning in Montreal.

It's truly an obstacle course between the decision and the start of construction, said the president and CEO of the organization, Charles Milliard.

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The administrative process for building new housing is too long and too cumbersome, estimates the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec. (File photo)

The Federation of Chambers of Commerce, which represents more than 45,000 businesses, is pressing Quebec and municipalities to streamline the process, reduce administrative costs and authorize entrepreneurs to apply for permits online, notably. Its members also want relief from zoning regulations to allow house owners to transform them to add housing.

1. Lighten zoning regulations

2. Promote in-person exchanges with entrepreneurs rather than in writing

3. Use external professionals for municipalities with a labor shortage

4. Map and advertise land available for residential construction

5. Digitize the administrative process and prioritize housing projects

6. Reduce administrative costs for multi-housing projects

7. Share professional and technical resources between municipalities and MRCs

Representatives of chambers of commerce from three sectors particularly affected by the housing crisis, namely Val-d'Or, Rimouski and Lanaudière, were present at the press conference and decried the crisis which is getting bogged down and the deadlines to deal with it.

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Entrepreneurs are starting to run out of resources a little. […] Housing is the cornerstone of everything else. If we are not able to resolve this problem, how can we recruit?

A quote from Jean-Nicolas Marchand, general director of the Rimouski Chamber of Commerce

According to the general director of the Rimouski-Neigette Chamber of Commerce, 83 housing units were built in Rimouski in 2023 – figures which, however, have not been confirmed by the City. However, to resolve the crisis and reduce the vacancy rate which stands at 0.6% in the Lower Laurentian capital, 2,500 additional units would be necessary.

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The Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec offers solutions to accelerate the construction of apartment buildings in Quebec. From left to right: Jean-Nicolas Marchand, Charles Milliard, Hélène Paradis (dg of the Val-d'Or Chamber of Commerce) and Pierre Berthiaume.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Les Moulins, Pierre Berthiaume, adds for his part that it is imperative to find solutions to accelerate the pace throughout Quebec, while the costs of construction remain very high. We need to consult, to work together, he insisted.

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