Affordable housing in Quebec gets $400 million injection

A total of $407 million from the federal and provincial government will be invested in social housing in Quebec over two years.

Federal and provincial governments will help build more than 200 social housing units in Montreal

Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, right, said the money will offer greater flexibility to social housing groups in Montreal. (Shaun Malley/CBC)

The federal and provincial governments have agreed to invest a total of $407 million into social housing in Quebec over two years, with Ottawa contributing $286 million to the province's $121 million.

Jean-Yves Duclos, federal minister of social development, made the announcement in Montreal on Monday.

This investment comes in addition to the $577 million in joint funding that's currently provided under the Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement.

The money will help build more than 200 social housing units in Montreal. It will also be spent on day centres, affordable rental units and hiring front-line support workers.

NDP housing critic Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet wants Ottawa to commit longer-term funding for social housing. (CBC)

"The federal government has a tendency to give strict norms," he said. "But this funding will give [housing organizations] some flexibility."

Duclos spoke in Montreal alongside representatives of the Réseau d'aide aux personnes seules et itinérantes de Montréal (RAPSIM), a coalition group of about 100 community organizations that helps the homeless.

RAPSIM will be responsible for overseeing the construction of the social housing units in Montreal.

In a news release, RAPSIM said the group is happy with the investment, but added they'd like to see an affordable housing strategy that covers a longer period.

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, NDP housing critic and MP for Hochelaga was also on hand for the announcement. She echoed RAPSIM's concerns about the two-year funding package.

"Investing in housing is prevention because people are able to have somewhere to live," she said. "It saves costs in health and prisons, and the judicial system."

With files from Shaun Malley