More than 500 Quebec households are homeless after moving day, according to a housing group
A day after the move to Quebec, more than 500 tenant households in the province are homeless, the highest figure in 20 years.
The social housing group Popular action front in urban redevelopment (FRAPRU) unveiled the data in its annual report on Friday, spokesperson Véronique Laflamme qualifying the portrait of the current housing situation as “rather gloomy”.
According to recent data collected from municipal assistance services, the distribution of homeless individuals or families is:
FRAPRU says these numbers are probably much higher. Tenants who live in areas where there are no municipal support services are not counted, nor are those who have decided to fend for themselves.
Laflamme says housing availability is only part of the problem. Rising rents is another obstacle, as demonstrated by Montreal.
“The vacancy rate is 3.2% in the city of Montreal, which is above the breakeven point. However, no less than 554 tenant households used the municipal housing office’s referral service this year, ”said Laflamme. . “This situation speaks volumes about the depth of the crisis.”
Even those who have found a home are going through difficult times. FRAPRU says tens of thousands of households have had to cut other essentials just to pay rent.
The group warns that circumstances could worsen if the provincial government does not take immediate action.
FRAPRU calls for additional investments in AccessLogis program, the launch of a vast project of 50,000 social housing units in five years, and better protection of tenant households against evictions, repossessions and excessive rent increases.
In the meantime, the group welcomes improvements to emergency aid programs in the province, including the service in Montreal which offers temporary accommodation and provides assistance with storage and moving.
The group also says that while it appreciates the Quebec government improving its services, measures to help tenants were announced too late to be put in place in cities where they did not previously exist.
“We are doing everything we can”
In Montreal, teams from “all the boroughs” actively support people who do not yet have a lease, with 33 households in temporary housing, according to Craig Sauvé, municipal councilor for the Sud-Ouest borough and associate housing advisor. to the executive committee.
Staff help tenants find accommodation by closely monitoring apartment listings, visiting apartments with tenants, and speaking to landlords on their behalf.
“Our plan from the very beginning was to leave no one left without a place to go and to make sure they were looked after,” said Sauvé, who also says the long-term solution to the crisis of housing is more affordable housing, which requires spending by the province.
“We are doing everything we can.”