Housing advocates say more than a hundred families across Montreal are still looking for a place to rent and that it’s just another example of the housing crisis in the city.
“For Quebec, it’s around 400 families or tenants — households that haven’t found a place,” explained Catherine Lussier, case manager at Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain.
She said the numbers don’t include many others who don’t know how to access resources.
Lussier and other advocates say the problem stems from the continued lack of affordable housing, as well as certain conditions that make it more difficult for tenants.
“The phenomenon of evictions, reno-evictions, repossession of dwellings; the phenomenon of acceleration of gentrification,” Lussier pointed out. “Especially for Montreal North where the tenants are really low income and are unable to find affordable housing in their neighbourhood.”
Darby MacDonald of Project Genesis said she has other concerns.
“The people who are moving are moving into apartments they can’t afford, and the people who aren’t moving are sticking to apartments that are more affordable but are in really bad condition,” she noted. “So it’s really a double-edged sword for tenants right now.”
The Quebec government has resisted saying there’s a housing crisis in the province. They promised to build 15,000 social housing units in their first mandate, and in May, they announced $100 million in partnership with Ottawa for investment in subsidized housing.
Those supporting tenants insist even more money is needed so that this doesn’t keep happening every July 1st. As well, they want better protection for tenants.
According to Montreal mayor Valérie Plante, there are services available to help those who still haven’t found a place.
“They can sleep in hotels, we’ve organized that,” she told Global News. “We accompany them in their search. Often it’s bigger apartments that are hard to find because they are so expensive.”
She said those who are in a dire situation can call 3-1-1 for help from the city.