It is with great pride that I invite you to leaf through these portraits. You will get to experience a sample of the diversity, creativity and generosity that characterizes housing non-profits in Quebec. Some 50,000 homes in our network are the result of the commitment of tens of thousands of people who act to bring the right to housing to life.
Community housing is first and foremost a human story of solidarity and of respect. Our homes are places where these values find refuge, where they grow and thrive. Together, housing non-profits, their federations and the RQOH participate in building a more just world.
In a few words and with a few photos, this collection of portraits shows us the faces and the achievements of these ambitious and determined builders. This is our way to introduce the men and women who have developed the non-profit network and share their uniqueness with all of our partners and the entire population.
All regions of Quebec are represented here by the projects that have often transformed the heart of a neighbourhood, village or town. Many other non-profits have illustrated this as well; the time and space we had available did not allow us to show you more. Indeed, 1,200 organizations own and operate 2,300 projects represented in eight regional federations in Quebec. Grouped within the RQOH, the network now has a major profile.
The RQOH wants to tell all of these builders they did “a beautiful job!” We want to thank them for the tremendous work they have done over the decades. All these housing projects saw the light of day thanks to the commitment of many actors in all the communities where they bloomed.
Also, thank you to the RQOH team and to the federations that support the daily work of a network of generous, ambitious and willing partners to do more, and better, to improve the living conditions of those who are most in need.
The unfulfilled needs are still immense: Quebec has 227,870 private rental households where tenants spend more than 50 per cent of their income on rent. The state has the responsibility to guarantee the right to housing for all, but the community housing movement can and should play a role as a partner and facilitator, including financially. The compendium in your hands demonstrates that we have the capacity.
Réseau québécois des OSBL d’habitation
These portraits lift the veil on a little known segment of social housing in Quebec.
The action of the founders of the NPO are still a well kept secret. These pioneers have invested in the community housing field to allow their elders to remain in their towns and villages , to get people off the street, to support single-parent families and abused women, or to improve the living conditions of immigrants, veterans or Indigenous peoples — in short, to hand the keys to a stable home to people who were in great need.
We want to show you the progress of some of these builders who have been so actively engaged in their communities by presenting 18 portraits from all the regions of Quebec. Each non-profit included here agreed to tell a little of their history, as much for their resemblance to other projects as for their originality.
These citizens have many faces. These are young people and seniors, singles, couples or families; they are people in good physical and mental health, or who have lost their independence, they are victims of violence or emerging from homelessness. They have travelled varied paths but sought the same
destination: to have a decent home where security and peace reign.
Here you will discover social housing projects that were won after long struggles, finally became realities in their communities.
The whole network of Quebec’s non-profit housing now has more than 10,000 volunteers and 6,000 employees working to ensure sound financial and real-estate property management, provide community support to tenants and to offer a range of activities focused on their civic participation and their well-being.
The development of the non-profit network would never have been possible without the determination of the leaders of the different communities who have challenged public and private leaders, to persuade them to grant the funding and support needed to bring their projects to fruition.
We pay tribute to the contribution of the citizens who are engaged in their communities, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Société d’habitation du Québec, the cities and municipalities, financial institutions, the health and social services network. We also wish to acknowledge the work of technical resource groups, architectural firms, voluntary and charitable associations and the social clubs of cities and villages.
The Réseau québécois des OSBL d’habitation and its member federations salute the work of these builders who have paved the way in their communities. Faced with ever-growing demand, we remain concerned, however, about the need to develop new units and ensure the sustainability of existing buildings whose agreements are expiring. In short, much work remains to be done.
For now, it is with a sense of pride and accomplishment that we invite you to browse through these portraits.
Chairperson (until late 2016)
Réseau québécois des OSBL d’habitation
Quebec Housing NPOs
To learn more read RQOH’s research (French only):
Click on the map to discover a portrait of one of the NPO's in the region or choose one from the following list: