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Montrealers face challenging moving day amid housing crisis

Click to play video: 'Quebecers face added stress of housing crunch on annual moving day' Quebecers face added stress of housing crunch on annual moving day
WATCH ABOVE: While some Quebecers are celebrating Canada Day, others are taking part in a more stressful kind of tradition: moving day. This year, stress levels are higher than ever as people are moving amid a province-wide housing crisis. Global’s Gloria Henriquez has more – Jul 1, 2022

While some Quebecers are celebrating Canada Day, others are taking part in a more stressful kind of tradition: moving day.

This year, stress levels are through the roof as people are moving amid a province-wide housing crisis.

Alicia Melancon counts herself lucky.

After a two-month long search, she found an apartment in Montreal’s Plateau-Mont-Royal borough for her and her three roommates.

“We were lucky because here in this neighborhood, it is very expensive. And we found something under the price,” Melancon said.

She’s one of the thousands of people who are moving Friday in Montreal. But this year, just like last, isn’t easy.

“[I’m] really stressed because the price was like an obstacle,” Melancon said.
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Read more: City and housing advocates brace for moving day in Montreal

That’s because Montreal is experiencing a housing crisis and housing advocates say skyrocketing rents are now a widespread phenomenon across the entire province.

Throughout Quebec, rent prices on available listings have gone up almost 10 per cent, according to the Coalition of Housing Committees and Tenants Associations of Quebec’s (RCLALQ).

“Family of four moving right now? I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes,” said Michael Sevigny, who lives in the Milton-Parc area.

Sevigny says he considered moving out of his apartment, until he saw how much more rent is now elsewhere.

Catherine Lussier, a community worker with the housing advocacy group Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU), says the government needs to take more measures to ensure access to affordable housing.

“We’re also seeing a lack of development of social housing, which for us is a solution,” Lussier said.

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

But Lussier says thousands of social housing units that were promised within the past ten years remain unbuilt.

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The province recently announced it will build another 3,000 social and affordable housing units across Quebec.

But critics say those units won’t be built for years and more short-term solutions are needed.

“We need a real rent control system to make sure people have a reasonable rent. We need to bring order on businesses like Airbnb that are taking away apartments from the neighbourhoods from the housing market, so we need to act now,” said Québec solidaire spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

READ MORE: Community activist questions ‘affordability’ of Montreal new housing plan

Meanwhile, Quebec’s minister responsible for municipal affairs, Andrée Laforest, says immediate assistance is available to those who find themselves unhoused on moving day.

“There is absolutely no reason for people needing to sleep on the streets tonight if they call our emergency teams at our housing offices,” Laforest wrote in a statement to Global News. “We have invested a record amount of money ahead of July 1 as a preventative measure and we have increased immediate help to renters who need it. We are here to help.”

Laforest added that emergency lodging and storage will be provided if needed until the province can find a more permanent solution.

The city of Montreal encourages people who don’t have lodging to call 311.

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