There is always a lot of evidence and reactions today, about our series of reports related to the housing crisis, in particular about people who are looking for a home.
In particular, we are seeing more and more requests for help from individuals on the Facebook forums, as well as on the pages of organizations such as Accueil and Integration Bas-Saint-Laurent.
Our headline yesterday, “Rimuska has no future”, designed to introduce our second report and stir up the chips of our fellow citizens and leaders, did its job.
The witness at the origin of our series of reports is Luke, a 40-year-old timeshare father whose physical condition requires a diligent search for suitable, if not suitable, housing. Luke described on Monday everything he had read and learned about the shocking discussion forums regarding housing. For example, what landlords are now demanding and how tenants are reacting.
He tells us the following today.
Families and hamsters
“In Rimouski Daily Accommodation, a woman writes: “Urgent! For friend. Looking for four and a half or five and a half to rent, Rimouski, Mont Joly or the surrounding area. Must accept children. Silly to say, but “astere”, several owners refuse children. This makes no sense. I have seen several such testimonies. I found another that demonstrates, on the contrary, that the owners are taking advantage of the situation to be demanding: “No animals allowed (dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, etc.)”. I wonder how a hamster can cause damage. I wonder how a student can get a scholarship, 700 dollars a month for a studio. I have seen students put off classes due to lack of accommodation. It’s interesting, finally, how far it will go,” he explains.
A car is cheaper than a room for rent
As we reported yesterday, most of the witnesses who have contacted us or who have been contacted by us are uncomfortable speaking face to face, but we know their identities and have no reason to doubt their sincerity.
So, therefore, it is the mother who explains to us that, living 37 km from Rimovsky, it was more profitable for her daughter to purchase and maintain a used car than to rent a room on a student campus. And that was two years ago!
“At Rimouski, a six-foot-by-six-foot room with a bed, a bathroom, and a shared kitchen on the ground floor cost almost $500 two years ago. I already found it expensive and it got even worse. Eventually, it became cheaper for him to have his own car. »
$1,000 for a studio
We’ve often compared Rimouski and Quebec on shortages and house prices in recent years. It seems that Quebec is now in a better position.
“Today my daughter was admitted to Cégep de Sainte-Foy (Quebec) and it was relatively easy for her to find accommodation. There are no residential buildings in this CEGEP, but there are many apartment buildings in CEGEP and the university sector. For two and a half rooms, semi-basement, it’s $660 with heating and another $55 for semi-furnishing + $55 per month for parking. In return for his “boyfriend”, who will go to the university in Sherbrooke, $ 1,000 a month for a one and a half room apartment. The world has gone crazy,” the lady also says.
Proposed Estates General
Journalist and writer Harold Michaud makes a suggestion that readers may deem appropriate by sharing our report on his Facebook page. We need to hold a general assembly on the housing crisis.
“Private businesses, housing cooperatives, low-income housing managers, elected officials, owner and tenant associations, the Maritime Institute, Cégep, UQAR, the time has come to take the bull by the horns and set in motion statements about this crisis that is affecting the quality of life of many citizens and , moreover, slows down development. This diagnosis has been shared by many for far too long, and now we must act. Should we think about housing differently? Is there a collector in the room? “, comments Mr Michaud.
On high alert for refugees
Rimouski City Council member Jocelyn Pelletier points out that the regional attractiveness and immigration advisory tables are working together on a housing dossier and are currently on high alert. They just had a meeting today.
“I am a representative of the Immigration Council, which brings together 12 regional bodies. We are in talks with the Bas Saint Laurent Attractiveness Chart and have brainstormed to promote solutions to accelerate the construction of social housing for the newcomers we wish to accommodate. We evaluate all possibilities. All ideas are good. We want refugees coming to Rimouski as part of our host city program to be well received. »
“So far we have managed to cope. For example, Accueil et Integration Bas-Saint-Laurent has temporary housing that is being put to good use. We looked for places in buildings that have vacant spaces that communities usually gather, for example, in the residence of the Sisters of the Holy Rosary. But we are looking for accommodation for a longer period. We tell ourselves that projects are under construction that will help us. At least there is a glimmer of hope in the medium and long term. We are all moving in the same direction in search of solutions,” says Mr. Pelletier.
Asked what he thinks about the idea of combining socio-economic organizations and schools, among other things, into large estates general, Mr. Pelletier believes that this is not necessary.
“The Immigration Consent Table is already bringing all these people together around one case. There are UQAR, City, MRC, United Center for Health and Social Services, Chamber of Commerce and so on. »
At six or seven
“I heard that there are no more five and a half room apartments, and our refugees, who come from Central Africa these days, come here with the whole family, at six or seven,” the gentleman finally admits. Pelletier.
On Monday we will continue our series of reports with possible solutions.