About 15 residents of a rooming house in Mont-Joli had to leave their homes on Thursday, with less than one hour left to leave after their landlord served them an eviction notice a few weeks ago.
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Some vulnerable and low-income residents still refuse to leave and challenge the legality of this eviction. This is the case of René Huard and his spouse.
“I’m going to sleep on the side of the road!” Rene Howard rebelled. I have nowhere to stay, nowhere to feed myself. Nothing!”
Its owner received two notices of non-compliance from the fire department of the city of Mont-Jolie and chose to close the doors of his establishment.
Like other lodgers in his situation, René Huard’s income was limited. A housing shortage means that none are available, and the Municipal Housing Office (OMH) in Mont-Joli already has a long waiting list.
“We are preparing to leave if we find anything. I still have a lot of personal effects, I have furniture,” Rene Huard added.
“The waiting list for single people is very long and I have no accommodation available. People will,” lamented OMH General Manager Vallier April.
On his part, the owner defends himself. Ariel Wolff said he has already spent $300,000 to bring his building into compliance, and still has the same amount to pay for other work. The amount he claimed he did not have.
“There is no help from the government, municipalities or anything else for this type of situation,” explained Mr. Wolff.
The housing committee of Bas-Saint-Laurent declined interview requests from TVA Nouvelles this morning. But he said the eviction notice sent was not legal.
“I announced to everyone that the city of Mont-Joli says that we do not have the right to house (people) in this building. That is exactly what I declared. That city told me. No eviction notice,” Ariel Wolf defended.
The landlord said he would be fined thousands of dollars if the lodgers stayed in his building. However, Rene Huard remained steadfast.
“The procedure (owner) speaks: ‘Rene, Rene, Rene, if you don’t go, what will we do?’ I told him you manage with what you want. You have me up against the wall. You don’t even give me time to turn around,” said Mr. Howard.
The remaining lodgers are expected to fight to the end and defend their case at the Administrative Housing Tribunal.