Montreal residents face challenging days in the midst of a housing crisis. Globalnews.ca

While some Quebecers are celebrating Canada Day, others are participating in a more stressful type of tradition: moving days.

This year, the tension level is through the roof as people move in the midst of a province-wide housing crisis.

Alicia Melanchon considers herself lucky.

After a two-month-long search, she found an apartment for her and her three roommates in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough of Montreal.

“We were lucky because here in this neighborhood, it’s very expensive. And we got something for under the price,” Melancon said.

He is one of thousands of people who are going to Montreal on Friday. But this year is not as easy as last year.

,[I’m] Really stressed because the price was kind of a hurdle,” said Melanchon.

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That’s because Montreal is facing a housing crisis and housing advocates say skyrocketing rents are now a widespread phenomenon across the province.

Across Quebec, rent prices on available listings have risen by about 10 percent, according to the Coalition of Housing Societies and Tenants Associations of Quebec (RCLALQ).

“The family of four is moving now? I don’t want to be in his shoes,” said Michael Sevigny, who lives in the Milton-Park area.

Sevigny says he considered moving out of his apartment until he saw just how much rent is now elsewhere.

Catherine Lussier, a community activist with the housing advocacy group Front d’action Popular en Remanagement Urbane (FRAPRU), says the government needs to take more measures to ensure access to affordable housing.

“We are also seeing a lack of development for social housing, which is a solution for us,” Lussier said.

Read more: Calls grow for more money as Montreal and the rest of Quebec face housing crisis

But Lussier says the thousands of social housing units that were promised within the past ten years still remain.

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The province recently announced that it would build another 3,000 social and affordable housing units in Quebec.

But critics say those units won’t be built for years and more short-term solutions are needed.

“We need a real rent control system to make sure people have a fair rent. We need to bring orders on businesses like Airbnb that move from neighborhoods to the housing market,” said Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, a spokesman for Quebec Solidaire. We are taking apartments, so we need to act now.

Read more: Community activist questions the ‘affordability’ of Montreal’s new housing scheme

Meanwhile, Quebec’s minister for municipal affairs, André Laforest, says immediate assistance is available for those who find themselves out of the house during the day on the go.

“If people call our emergency teams in our housing offices there is no reason to need to sleep on the streets tonight,” Laforest wrote in a statement to Global News. “We have invested a record amount before July 1 as a preventive measure and we have extended immediate assistance to renters who need it. we are here to help.”

Laforest said emergency housing and storage would be provided if needed until the province finds a more permanent solution.

The city of Montreal encourages people who do not have housing to call 311.

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