(Montreal) The Minister responsible for Social Services, Lionel Carmant, announces 15.5 million in new money to deal with the significant increase in homelessness in Quebec. This amount aims to consolidate and offer places in shelters in preparation for the winter.
“We accepted all the projects that were submitted to us,” assured the minister in a press scrum on Thursday at the National Assembly.
A report from the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec indicates a 44% increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness compared to 2018.
“We have seen the figures, they are worrying. However, we expected it a little,” said Mr. Carmant.
Thursday morning, the three opposition parties all affirmed that the government’s sums were insufficient.
The report specifies that homelessness, although still very present in Montreal, has become regionalized.
The shortage of affordable housing and COVID-19 are causes identified in the report for the increase in homelessness.
The report states that the fact of having been “evicted from one’s accommodation, whether for non-payment of rent, repossession of accommodation or any other reason” is a factor which contributes to the precariousness of certain people at risk of homelessness.
Eviction is also the main reason given for the loss of housing.
Lionel Carmant is eagerly awaited at the Union of Municipalities’ Homelessness Summit which will take place on Friday. Municipalities say they lack the resources to face the challenge of homelessness.
Last week, Mr. Carmant was sharply criticized by the mayor of Gatineau, France Bélisle. She said that when it came to homelessness, she was doing the minister’s “job” for him.