Struggling Tenant Forced to Live in Tent Due to Limited Budget: The Challenges of Affordable Housing

2023-07-11 15:30:00

A rooming house tenant of Saint-Jérôme prepares to live in a tent as he will be ousted of his accommodation and that he is unable to find new accommodation with his meager budget the 450$.

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“I search, I search, I search… but finding something within my budget is more than rough. It will surely end with a tent and a locker”, breathes Jean Seredocka, 64 years old.

For ten years, the latter had lived in a small rooming house on rue Saint-Georges, in Saint-Jérôme. His accommodation, of which he shared the bathroom with the other tenants, had cost him $300 per month since 2013.

Since he was in charge of snow removal, in particular, he had never had a raise.

“The owner kicked everyone out and I’ve been on my own for four months. He says he wants to do some renovations,” he explains, showing the Journal padlocks on the other three rooms in the building.

On July 1, one of his new owners tried to kick him out, he says.

“But I told him that with my knee and my health problems, I needed at least a month to leave,” he says, specifying that he must leave on August 1.

Hors budget

Receiving only $750 a month on social assistance, Mr. Seredocka is unable to find decent housing.

“I have eight very difficult months left. Afterwards, it should be better because I will receive the old age pension, “said Mr. Seredocka, who raised his budget to $450 for his rent. Even if that leaves him only $300 to get through the rest of the month.

Clara Loiseau / JdeM

“I’ve seen rooms at $700-800 per month! I can’t afford that!” he continues.

So while waiting to receive this check, he prepares to return to live on the streets, or rather on land that belongs to the Crown, where the police will not be able to dislodge him.

In a tent

After two strokes in 2014, Mr. Seredocka’s health only declined. His quality of life too, since he was no longer able to work afterwards. That’s how he ended up on the streets 13 years ago.

“I once lived in a tent north of 640 for three years when no one would rent me out because I had a colostomy pouch,” Seredocka said. It was really hard…”

For the moment, no compensation or proposal for temporary relocation has been offered, says Mr Seredocka. Contacted by The newspaper, the owners did not respond to interview requests.

In Saint-Jérôme, no permit application has been filed yet, confirms Marie-Ève ​​Proulx, communications. She also indicates that city inspections in 2019 and 2022 showed sanitation problems and asked the then owner to make the building “liveable”. Work that was not carried out, was able to see on site The newspaper.

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