The housing shortage strikes in the region

Housing shortage strikes in the region

& Agrave; DAY

Getting out of the streets in the region is increasingly difficult because of the housing crisis which is so far from major centers.

“The shortage of Gaspésie hurts us very much. Everything is either overpriced or unhealthy, ”observes with regret Dominique Bouchard, general manager of the Center Accalmie in Pointe-à-la-Croix. & Nbsp;

The occupancy rate of the seven beds of emergency of this shelter is 90%.

Over there, as in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, on the North Shore or in Saguenay, the homeless community is breaking its head to help homeless people ready to find a real home.

One of the barriers, especially when the future tenant receives a welfare check of about $ 700 per month, is obviously the ever increasing rental price.

Expensive, even in the regions

For example, a studio in Sept-Îles cost an average of $ 513 per month in 2020, according to a survey by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC ).

In addition, there is the social profiling and prejudices that many people who come off the streets are victims of. & nbsp;

Landlords will use the excuse that the apartment is “unfortunately already rented” if the future tenant has an accent, children or native features, underline the stakeholders with whom
The Journal spoke.

Sometimes the reputation of homeless people prevents them from finding where to live in the region, says the director of Transit Sept-Îles, David Lebœuf. & nbsp;

“There are those who no longer have any hope of placing themselves here, so we become a roaming incubator for the large centers,” he says. & Nbsp;

The same everywhere

On other occasions, it is the organizations' lack of resources that forces them to look elsewhere. & nbsp;

“If we lack crisis beds , we have to move people from Chicoutimi to Dolbeau. It's almost a two-hour drive, “exclaims Marie-Michèle Rancourt, spokesperson for the Table de concertation en itinérance de Saguenay. & Nbsp;

Unable to pay rent with the current crisis, many experience homelessness that is less “visible”, but no less worrying. & Nbsp;

“In summer, they make makeshift shelters in the woods” illustrates Stéphane Grenier, president of La Piaule de Val-D'Or, by highlighting the risks associated with this practice.

Whether in Montreal or in the region, experts believe that the offer current social housing is not enough to meet the needs exacerbated by the current crisis. & nbsp;

“Organizations have a bunch of strategies and are resourceful, but it takes more social housing with community support,” says Catherine Flynn, specialist in homelessness among women and professor at the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi. & nbsp;

Apartments which are scarce & nbsp;

Average price of an occupied studio & nbsp;

  • Saguenay: 443 $ & nbsp;
  • Sherbrooke: 479 $ & nbsp;
  • Val-d'Or: 486 $ & nbsp;
  • Sept- Islands: $ 513 & nbsp; & nbsp;

Housing vacancy rate & nbsp; & nbsp;

  • Saguenay: 2.8% & nbsp;
  • Sherbrooke: 1.3% & nbsp;
  • Val-d'Or: 0.9% & nbsp;
  • Sept-Îles: 5.8% & nbsp; & nbs p;

Source: CMHC

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