Housing: nearly 50% increase in tenant evictions in 2021
Housing in Montreal.
In Quebec, housing repossessions, tenant evictions and renovations have increased by nearly 50% this year, from 600 in 2020 to 875 in 2021. Of this number, nearly 560 cases have been identified in Montreal. & Nbsp;
These data were unveiled Tuesday morning by the Regroupement des committees logement et associations de tenants du Québec (RCLALQ), along with the Bureau d 'animation et information logement du Québec métropolitain (BAIL) and Action-logement Lanaudière. & nbsp;
This trend has been on the rise in recent years, explains RCLALQ community organizer Maxime Allard-Roy. “Last year, we went from 300 in 2019 to 600 in 2020. We had doubled. This year again there is a significant increase and it really reflects the reality on the ground, ”he said.
In addition, Maxime Allard-Roy indicates that more than half of housing repossessions, evictions and renovations recorded in 2021 are the work of new owners. “And in 70% of cases, we are talking about buildings that have been acquired in the last three years by the owners. It remains relatively recent and it shows that evictions are being carried out to quickly increase the rent, ”he adds.
For their part, tenants who are targeted by owners have been living in their homes for quite a long time. “In our samples, 50% of tenants had lived in their home for at least 10 years and one in three tenants had lived there for more than 15 years,” continues Maxime Allard-Roy.
The community organizer also points out that the average rent of those evicted was $ 767 per month, almost $ 100 below the average rent according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Increase in requests for help everywhere
The evictions of tenants are far from being limited to the central districts of Montreal. In fact, the number of requests for help from tenants related to these problems continues to increase throughout Quebec.
For example, in the Quebec City region, 90 tenants called on LEASE's information services regarding a housing repossession, eviction or renovation. & Nbsp;
That's five times more than two years ago, notes community organizer Jonathan Carmichael. “We see more and more building owners, particularly in the working-class neighborhoods of Quebec, using malicious schemes aimed at obtaining the permanent departure of tenants who have often been in place for many years,” he denounces.
In the Lanaudière region, Action-logement Lanaudière has recorded more than 90 cases of home repossession since the beginning of the year. “Before, we only had 5 to 10 a year,” says community organizer Amélie Pelland. It is therefore a phenomenon which is really new and which is growing in the regions. “
Demands on the government
The situation worries the housing committees and tenants associations of Quebec, which call on the Minister of Housing of Quebec, Andrée Laforest, to propose a bill that would strengthen protections for tenants and put an end to evictions carried out for make a profit.
Considering that 55% of cases are housing repossessions, the committees ask that all housing repossessions be prohibited in regions and sectors where the vacancy rate is below 3%. “And for the sectors where it is allowed, we want tenants to be entitled to an indemnity of 12 months rent”, adds Maxime Allard-Roy. & Nbsp;
One of the main demands is also to amend the Civil Code of Quebec to remove the devices that allow evictions. “For now, we do not have positive reactions [from the government] on this subject, but we still expect that there will be progress soon,” says Mr. Allard- Roy. & Nbsp;
Finally, to counter the scourge of renovations, the RCLALQ is once again proposing to establish a mandatory rent control as well as a public rent register. “It would be more difficult to increase the rents as they are doing through renovations. At the same time, we also need a public rent register so that tenants, when they sign a new lease or look for housing, can find out what the old price was, ”says Maxime Allard-Roy.
Minister Laforest's office did not immediately react.