CITY OF MONTREAL - OFFICE OF THE MAYOR/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

CITY OF MONTREAL - OFFICE OF THE MAYOR/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

July 01, 2005 10:00 ET

City of Montreal-July 1st: Re-housing assistance, Situation is Comparable to That of 2004

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMontreal - July 1, 2005) - Cosmo Maciocia, member of the Executive Committee responsible for housing, today reported that the number of households looking for affordable housing in 2005 compares to that of 2004.

Since the beginning of the re-housing operation on June 15, the 868-GITE assistance call centre has received 2,356 calls compared to 2,384 last year, on the same date. The number of households sheltered at the YMCA now stands at 14 compared to 20, last year. The number of households eligible for the emergency rent supplement program offered by the government of Quebec through the Societe d'habitation du Quebec now stands at 540 compared to 560, in 2004.

"The same eligibility criteria that were in effect in 2004 apply to the 2005 emergency rent supplement program and to the other services provided by the city of Montreal and its partners. However, the number of requests for information processed by the call centre has increased this year. Despite this fact, the situation is under control, and we are satisfied with the operation at this time," said Mr. Maciocia.

Several factors are responsible for the success of the 2005 operation. First, the vacancy rate has increased from 1.1% to 1.7%. Second, the government of Quebec has renewed emergency rent supplement program agreements of previous years adding 495 new units in Montreal for 2005. Third, a small team of experts working in re-housing assistance management is now in place year round at the Office municipal d'habitation. This helps to reduce the number of requests for assistance comes July 1st.

Finally, new programs to promote the construction of affordable housing units for sale or rent, and especially the progressive delivery of housing projects developed through the Solidarite 5000 logements program have helped Montreal households find adequate and affordable housing.

"The period from 2001 to 2003 was difficult, but the rental market situation is stabilizing slowly but surely. Montreal is still a city of renters. We are very aware of this, and we will continue to take the necessary measures to help Montrealers in need find rental housing", concluded Mr. Maciocia.

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