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City and housing advocates brace for moving day in Montreal

July 1st is just around the corner and already some people are getting a head start to beat the moving day rush, but city officials as well as housing advocates are bracing for tenants left stranded. (Global News).

July 1 is just around the corner and already some people are getting a head start to beat the moving day rush, but city officials as well as housing advocates are bracing for tenants who are left stranded.

“The tenants that have low income are still struggling a lot to find apartments,” noted Catherine Lussier, community worker with the housing advocacy group, Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU).

Read more: Calls grow for more money as Montreal and rest of Quebec facing housing crunch

City of Montreal officials say it’s why they are redoubling their efforts this year to help those who are at risk of not having a place to rent by the first of July.

“For those who still haven’t found housing by this Friday, July 1st, please call 311 as soon as possible and we will direct you to the right resources,” said Benoit Dorais, vice-president of the City of Montreal executive committee and the person responsible for housing, real estate strategy and legal affairs.

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Services include help finding an apartment as well as emergency housing and storage.

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It’s not the first time the city has done this but according to Dorais, this year they’re pushing harder.

“We have also worked with private landlords to set up a bank of units available for tenants in need,” he added, noting the housing crisis in the city is worsening.

According to the city, since January 1,000 people who’re having trouble finding affordable housing have called 311 – that’s triple the number from the same time period in 2020.

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Lussier believes that number might just be the tip of the iceberg.

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“We know that some people are not entering in this data,” she reasoned, “because, for example last year they actually ended up without an apartment, and that for one year they just moved from friends’ house to friends’ house.”

Dorais said as of Tuesday, at least 33 families won’t have an apartment Friday.

On July 1 last year, 100 families in Montreal were without a place to live.  With rent increases, housing advocates wonder this year will be even worse.

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“In places like Montreal Nord … we’re really worried of how the situation is going to be,” Lussier told Global News.

City of Montreal opposition blames the city itself, saying it should have been better prepared.

“Why are they expecting 33 families to not have housing,” housing critic Benoit Langevin asked. “Why aren’t (city officials) ready?”

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The city says its are doing its best to have as few people as possible left behind.

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