If we analyze the housing crisis that has plagued Quebec since 2001 through the lenses of economic science, it can be attributed to a number of government policies that have distorted the proper workings of the province’s housing market. Among other factors, rent control has discouraged the maintenance of existing units and the building of new ones. The poorest households are paradoxically the first casualties of this policy, which maintains middle-income households in units that they would normally vacate for newer and better ones, leaving the older units unavailable to lower income individuals. Quebec’s housing regulations also throw numerous roadblocks in the way of tenant selection and the eviction of the worst tenants, which makes investment in housing less attractive. Again, the first victims of this policy are poorer tenants who take good care of their rental units.
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