While the lease renewal period is over, many households are still struggling to find a new address by the fateful date of July 1. This research being a source of anxiety for many who fear finding themselves homeless, the Government of Quebec wanted to remind them that there are support services to help them.

In its latest budget adopted last month, Quebec earmarked $5.8 million to help municipal housing offices (OMHs) and municipalities “lend a hand to people who are looking for housing,” reminded Tuesday the Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau.

These support services, which include assistance in finding housing and referral to resources able to meet their needs, are currently offered in about thirty OMHs in 14 administrative regions. Other offices could be added to the list, it was indicated.

Although they could temporarily house households in vacant apartments if any are available in certain areas, the offices are not mandated to find housing on behalf of families.

“The role of an office is to properly refer citizens. These are situations that are very emotional for households, and regularly, we have to rationalize this situation, ”explains Anne Demers, director general of the Regroupement des offices d’habitation du Québec.

Minister Duranceau also recalled other measures already in effect to support tenants, including the Rent Supplement Program and the Housing Assistance Program, which could allow households to stay in their homes while absorbing their rent increase. .

“Instead of moving, the aid will sometimes allow them to stay in their accommodation, the person remains in their living environment. The figures show it: people are reviewing their ways of doing things and instead of moving, see the situation differently,” said Claude Foster, director general of the Société d’habitation du Québec.

In 2022, 9,300 households used the services of an OMH to find housing. As the crisis is still in full swing, Quebec expects this number to increase this year.