APCHQ praises Canada's abolition of GST on new rental properties
The Association of Construction and Housing Professionals of Quebec (APCHQ) has expressed its fervent approval of the recent decision by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to abolish the GST on new rental properties. This move, as the APCHQ perceives it, is a testament to the federal government's commitment to ameliorating the issues of housing shortage and its attendant affordability challenges.
Paul Cardinal, director of the Economic Service at the APCHQ, emphasized the potential of this measure to stabilize and possibly reduce the upward trajectory of rental prices in newly constructed properties. "This measure will likely alleviate the rising rental costs for new structures while simultaneously addressing the prevailing housing supply dilemma," Cardinal noted. He recalled that the APCHQ had consistently advocated for such a policy shift in the past.
However, even with the federal government's latest move, Quebec's housing market remains a significant concern. Reports from the APCHQ indicate that, as of 2021's end, there was a staggering deficit of over 100,000 housing units of all categories. This shortfall must be addressed to re-establish equilibrium in the housing sector.
If projections from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) are anything to go by, the task might be even more daunting. To genuinely rejuvenate the housing market's affordability by 2030, the CMHC suggests an addition of nearly 860,000 housing units to Quebec's current housing stock, far outstripping present trajectories.
Despite this clear need, Quebec's housing construction trends appear dismal. Preliminary data for 2023 indicates an unprecedented 47% plunge in new residential constructions in the region during the year's first seven months.
Paul Cardinal encapsulated the APCHQ's sentiment with his statement, "We are navigating a perfect tempest. With escalating housing requirements, plummeting construction commencements, and soaring rental rates, it's high time for the Quebec government to reciprocate. We urge them to urgently revise the existing QST reimbursement mechanisms for new rental properties."
While acknowledging the significance of the federal government's decision, the APCHQ believes that both federal and provincial administrations have an extensive array of tools at their disposal to make housing more accessible and affordable. To this end, in the recent 2024-2025 federal pre-budget consultations, the APCHQ put forward a comprehensive set of recommendations aimed at systematically addressing the twin challenges of housing scarcity and escalating costs.
The association remains hopeful that their suggestions, combined with the efforts of both governments, can make headway in resolving Canada's housing crisis.