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Information on public housing in Hull

Text

French

ID: <10.7202/055703ar>·DOI: <10.7202/055703ar>

Abstract

Housing is still defined in North America as a private property: this is a striking contrast to the European concept. Despite this basic definition, the so-called housing crisis is increasingly forcing governments to intervene in this sector. In Canada, the main role of the state has been to “make the mortgage market more stable and attractive” in order to stimulate demand for residential construction. It was only later that the government had a real interest in social housing. Some public housing programmes were implemented in the 40s; however, these programmes were very marginal: social housing accounts for only half of 1 % of the dwellings set up between 1955 and 1966.3 in the mid-60s, however, the federal government is amending its legislation to trigger much greater action in this area. Public housing has now become one of the largest budget items in S.C.H.L.It is this programme and its implementation, in the case of the municipality of Hull, that we will look at here. We will examine the information process implemented around the programme, its impact and constraints. Let us therefore place public housing within its institutional framework. As has just been noted, the programme was drawn up by the S.C.H.L., which established its main parameters. However, its practical operation is the responsibility of the Quebec Housing Society, set up in 1967 to counter any attempt by the Federal Government to interfere with housing problems at municipal level. It is up to the Commission to approve any public housing project. On the other hand, the initiative for these projects was left to the municipalities, the role of H.Q. being essentially limited to accepting it and financing part of it. It should also be noted that the municipality can set up a municipal housing office to manage and build the projects. In Québec, the municipalities are therefore entrusted with significant responsibilities. On the other hand, they must also participate in the funding of the programme, to a greater extent than municipalities in other Canadian provinces. They must grant their municipal housing office a loan representing 5 % of the cost of the construction of the projects and finance 10 % of the operating costs. It is clear that the implementation of the public housing programme is the responsibility of the municipality and more specifically of its municipal housing office. It is therefore at this level that we will find ourselves. We will see how Hull did or did not inform the public about the different aspects of this programme. We will also identify the concrete results of this action. Government information was not the main focus of our research: indeed, our statement was essentially aimed at explaining the output of public housing in Hull. Moreover, the theoretical framework developed at that time focused on the communication networks of the political elites. As a result, we were more aware of the general information process, while at the same time giving priority to montante.Therefore, this article is intended to summarise the comments we have been able to make on a subject, top-down government information, which was of indirect interest to us. In this respect, the sources of our data, while not as comprehensive as desired, remain very diverse. Of course, we interviewed the Hulloise political elites, in particular the head of the Municipal Housing Office and some members of its staff. We also consulted the Office’s documents and the newspaper Le droit for the period in question (1968-1974). We also looked at the actual and potential customers of the Municipal Office. In addition, we conducted a survey of a sample of 400 residents of the island of Hull. The island of Hull is the popular neighbourhood of the city of Hull. This includes the population explicitly targeted by the municipal housing programme. They are built ‘with a view to housing mainly low-income people who cannot find housing suitable for their needs on the private market’.

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