While many Montrealers settled into their new homes on Moving Day, dozens of others found themselves with nowhere to go.
City councillor Craig Sauve said the city is providing between 20 and 30 temporary housing units.
“If they can’t find housing, we’re not going to let anybody go in the street like that,” he said. “The vacancy rate… is about 1.9 per cent, but it’s 0.8 per cent for families.”
Sauve said the city would work to find those left without homes more permanent places to live and pointed to a recently tabled bylaw that will increase the number of affordable housing units in the city. The bylaw would force developers to create or fund social and affordable housing if they want to build in Montreal.
“We’re hoping that does create family housing, that does create social housing, more affordable housing,” he said. “Our estimates are 600 units per year just by one vote and maybe $14 million for land acquisitions for further social housing.”
Even among those who were able to find new homes, Moving Day came with challenges. Jeannine Landry said she rented her van days in advance and still found herself lucky to get one.
“Even when I rented it there was five people after me trying to get one,” she said. “My first plan was to have a 16-foot van but there was no more. That was the last one.”
Steven Pirollo of Beaumont Storage said he’s noticed an increase in people using storage units year round as tenants move to smaller and more affordable apartments.
“Financially sometimes it just makes sense,” he said. “It’s an upward trend so we’re seeing it more and more every year. We don’t expect it to slow down.”