Montreal says it's “ready” ahead of July 1

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Shown ;al says he is “ready” in anticipation of July 1

Vice -president of the executive committee, Benoit Dorais, urges the other two orders of government to “invest massively” in affordable housing.

With an envelope of more than $3.5 million dollars, the City of Montreal says it is “ready” for the big moving waltz on July 1. Benoit Dorais, vice-president of the executive committee, however, urges Quebec and Ottawa to release the amounts promised for affordable housing.

During a press conference given on Tuesday morning, Mr. Dorais reiterated that Montreal has several services intended to help and even support households experiencing problems finding new housing.

Nevertheless, and even if the planned budget envelope has practically tripled since 2019 to deal with this problem, the situation of the Montreal rental stock continues to deteriorate, lamented Mr. Dorais.

If we feel the need to take stock of the situation, it is because something is happening, he said.

“We have people who have been renovated, people who are looking for new housing… There are people for whom things are going well. x27; others who find it difficult. We are in the midst of a housing crisis! »

— Benoit Dorais, vice-president of the executive committee at the City of Montreal

The municipal administration, in collaboration with many organizations and agencies, is able to support households in difficulty, recalled Mr. Dorais. Including by offering an emergency accommodation service and storage of goods between two dwellings, among others.

Between 2019 and 2021, calls past cases related to housing issues have tripled, Dorais added. Last year, he said, some 1,000 calls were made.

So far, in 2022, 456 calls have been received, including 81 households that needed support. Of this number, about thirty could find themselves homeless on Friday, July 1; the City says it is ready to accommodate them if this is the case, in particular through an agreement with hoteliers.

Yes, there has been an affordability crisis for several years. This is coupled with the pandemic and the changing economic context for everyone. Costs are on the rise, Mr. Dorais continued.

While he says municipal and community services are on hand to address urgent issues, Benoit Dorais insists that we must address the causes of these emergencies, that is to say the lack of access to affordable housing. And that, he says, depends on provincial and federal investments in the field.

If we really want to tackle the causes over which we have influence, we must reinvest massively in social and community housing, and in affordable housing for the middle class, launched Benoit Dorais.

Visibly uplifted by the publication on Monday of an article by Radio-Canada indicating that the construction and renovation of 6,000 social housing units are in danger in Montreal, due to the lack of agreement between Quebec and Ottawa regarding the management of funds, Mr. Dorais argued that the provincial and federal governments are currently getting stuck in commas, in forms, and visibly passing the blame.

It's been silly for four years, money has been sleeping for four years, he said.

On the Quebec government side, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Andrée Laforest, said Monday that negotiations were continuing with Ottawa. Ms. Laforest said she was hopeful that the talks would conclude soon. The file is in the hands of Minister Sonia LeBel, responsible in particular for Canadian Relations.

Among the other possible solutions to combat the housing crisis, Benoit Dorais invited to put pressure on the various political parties aiming to govern Quebec, next October, so that they commit to creating a Quebec register. rents. A similar initiative is in the works in Montreal, he said, before pointing out that the City does not have the power to control private market rents.

The opposition to City Hall, for its part, considers that Projet Montréal would benefit from exploring other avenues to solve the problem of access to housing.

We note that the method used each year by the administration does not prevent the increase in the number of households accommodated during the crisis of July 1st. We need to explore other ways to help Montrealers, party leader Aref Salem said in a statement.

Last February, Ensemble Montréal proposed to create a bank of 100 affordable housing units in anticipation of July 1, in collaboration with community groups. Projet Montréal rejected this motion. You cannot expect different results using the same methods year after year.

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