February 1, 2023

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The tenants threatened to evict the building from the affordable housing after it was sold

A dozen Mile-End tenants threatened to evict after selling their building, some of which have occupied it for nearly 30 years, fearing they will never find affordable housing in Montreal.

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“Where are we going to live? We have families with children in the building that have been there for years. We’re going to force them to change schools, lose their bearings, their friends,” says Jodi Provost, a 34-year-old tenant who received an eviction notice for her shelter located on rue Jean-Mans in the suburb of Plateau. -Mont-Royal.

Between December 22 and 28, she and her neighbors received eviction notices due to “substantial encroachments”. Two tenants received notices to repossess the housing, so that the owner stays there or has his family members stay there.

“A month after they bought the buildings, we got a notice from the bailiff. We suspected that was going to happen, but we didn’t think it would be this fast,” breathes 65-year-old Shantal Allard.

“I had cancer, I have chronic pain, and now I live in fear of losing my home and my neighborhood that I’ve lived in for 28 years,” she adds.

Uprooting

For all citizens, the announcement crushed the holidays. This is because it is almost impossible for most of them to migrate to the neighborhood.

“We know that if we had to leave, we would never be able to stay in the neighborhood, and the prices have gone up so much,” Ms. Allard concedes.

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The latter pays $535 for his 5 1/2. His sister, Suzanne Allard, pays $662 for 4 1/2 for her share. Jody Prevost is paying $740 for the 4 1/2 he’s owned for four years.

Near, 5 1/2 not seen under $1800. The same thing for 4 1/2 now costs more than $1,400.

“It destroys lives, it destroys neighborhoods. It’s a disaster,” says Ms. Allard, who plans to leave Montreal and has no hope of finding similar accommodation at a lower cost.

Resistance

Since then, a group of tenants have been trying to unravel the law and decided to stick together and fight to keep their roof.

In Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, a regulation introduced in September 2020 specifically prohibits the subdivision or expansion of housing. However, exceptions are provided.

“There are loopholes in the laws and regulations that create them [les propriétaires] It always ends up finding an exception that allows them to achieve their goals,” says Chantal Allard.

According to her, the various governments should put more concrete rules.

“I don’t know how they imagine the future in Montreal, because it’s not possible! We’re running into a wall and only the rich can afford to live there at the moment,” laments Jody Provost.

Lack of options

These practices have a major impact on Montreal housing, which is becoming less and less affordable, but also on evictions.

“Due to the housing crisis, people were unable to migrate to the plateau and became stressed and scared. Now, people are even wondering if they can move to or around Montreal because housing is unaffordable,” laments Vicky Langevin, a community organizer with the Plateau-Mont-Royal Housing Committee.

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It also highlights a lack of options for those paying very low rents, says Catherine Lucier of the Popular Action Front on Urban Redevelopment (FRAPRU).

“These are people who often need to find themselves in social housing, but don’t find it in time because of long waiting lists and projects not getting off the ground,” she says. – She is.

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