Quebec could see an increase in the number of people without homes as leases expire across the province: housing group

A leading housing advocacy group fears Quebec will see an increase in the number of households without permanent housing as leases expire across the province on July 1.

“On the eve of July 1, there were 750 tenant households who had not found housing,” in Quebec, according to Véronique Laflamme, spokesperson for the Popular Action Front in Urban Redevelopment (FRAPRU).

This estimate is based on requests for assistance received by municipal housing authorities across the province. This could change depending on how many families are able to find accommodation in the blink of an eye.

On this day, the number is much higher than last year, when 420 households were at risk of having nowhere to move, Laflamme said.

On Friday, there were 107 homes in Montreal “accompanied by teams and who have still not found a permanent solution,” said a city spokesperson in an email to The Canadian Press.

Among them, “some were able to negotiate a short-term lease extension, while others could be accommodated by relatives”. In any case, the city says it was able to “manage and temporarily house” people in need.

According to Laflamme, “these figures are only the tip of the iceberg of the housing crisis”, while an unknown number of families live in “appalling (housing) situations”, or in dwellings that are too small or too expensive for their needs.

FRAPRU will take stock of the situation on Saturday morning at a press conference.

Moving day in Montreal means piles of furniture and other items tossed along the streets. (Touria Izri/CTV News)

A CONSTANT SOURCE OF STRESS

A recent Leger survey revealed that housing remains a constant source of stress for many people in the province.

The survey revealed that 47% of renters, 55% of single-parent families, 46% of households with an annual income of less than $40,000, 44% of immigrant families and 34% of Greater Montreal residents feel very stressed about regarding their housing situation.

SUPPORT AVAILABLE

Households in need of housing support are encouraged to call their municipal housing office or the Société d’habitation du Québec for immediate assistance.

On Wednesday, Quebec announced an increase in housing allowance from the current maximum of $100 to $170 per month, effective Oct. 1, and an increase in the maximum amount of rent eligible for the rent supplement program.

As part of its “Operation July 1st”, the government has also allocated $2 million for housing search assistance, temporary accommodation and storage of belongings.

“There is absolutely no reason for people to be sleeping rough tonight if they call on the emergency teams of our housing authorities,” Housing Minister Andrée Laforest said in a statement sent by mail. electronic.

However, these measures do not address the root of the problem, according to FRAPRU.

“We believe the government is not acting with structural measures,” said Laflamme, who is calling for better legislative protections against property speculation, renovations and fraudulent evictions.

They cite a report by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) which revealed that only 18 out of a thousand units with three bedrooms or more are available for rent in Quebec.

“Because they are often considered less profitable, large units are neglected by private developers, and those that are built are unaffordable,” said FRAPRU spokeswoman Véronique Laflamme.

NEED HELP WITH HOUSING?

  • Emergency service of the Société d’habitation du Québec: 1 800 463-4315
  • Administrative Housing Tribunal information line: 1 800 683-BAIL (2245)
  • Housing assistance from the City of Montreal: 311

— This report from The Canadian Press was first published in French with files from CTV’s Daniel J. Rowe on July 1, 2022.

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