Housing advocates worry about the eviction ban being lifted in Montreal
MONTREAL — With the ban on evictions set to be lifted in July, housing advocates worry rising rents and record unemployment could push some Montrealers onto the streets.
Executive director of the Saint Michael’s Mission Chantelle Laferriere said the organization is being pushed to its limits this year.
“Women, families, we see people that we’ve never seen before,” she said. “They’re not homeless but they come for relief.”
Laferriere said since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, their clientele has gone up by 60 per cent.
With moving day a week-and-a-half away and the ban on evictions ending, the mission and other advocates are worried the situation will worsen.
“Many are not able to access the emergency benefits, and, in many cases, landlords haven’t been at all sympathetic,” said Amy Darwish of the Comite d’action de Parc-Extension. “We’re very, very worried that as the evictions moratorium is lifted, many people could find themselves on the streets in month to come.”
Recently, the province announced $71.5 million to help Quebecers find housing by July 1, but advocates say residents need to know they won’t lose their homes.
“We believe that the eviction moratorium absolutely needs to be prolonged,” said Darwish. “There shouldn’t be evictions during a public health crisis and there shouldn’t be evictions afterwards either.”