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Project Porte-clés: Preventing Evictions in Montreal

27 November 2023
Photo of a man with a key ring around his neck.

Montreal, November 27, 2023 - The Old Brewery Mission and the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal (OMHM) today announced Project Porte-clés, a new program that has been working in concrete ways to prevent homelessness since the beginning of October. Project Porte-clés identifies low-rent housing (HLM) tenants at imminent risk of homelessness at an early stage, so that measures can be taken to keep them housed and prevent them from ending up on the street.

Supporting vulnerable people

Tenants in the OMHM’s low-rent housing projects are often fragile and vulnerable. If they are evicted from their apartment, they have few options. The OMHM provides various supports and receives assistance from many partners but sometimes has no choice but to evict tenants whose problematic behaviour is disturbing other residents’ living environment. Under Project Porte-clés, the Old Brewery Mission’s specialized prevention team comes in and mediates with these individuals. The goal is not only to keep the person or household in their home but also to improve the quality of life and safety of their neighbours.

If eviction, the OMHM’s last resort, is unavoidable, the Old Brewery Mission will help people find a housing solution and avoid homelessness. The Old Brewery Mission’s specialized prevention team can act as an intermediary between its many community partners and people looking for housing to find housing solutions that meet their needs.

“To really reduce the number of people who become homeless, we are developing programs that target at-risk clients, including some low-rent housing tenants,” explains Georges Ohana, Director of Homelessness Prevention at the Old Brewery Mission. “We’re very pleased that the OMHM saw the value of this project and agreed to be part of it.”

“Project Porte-clés adds an important string to our bow,” says Caroline Langevin, Director of the Housing Management Department at the OMHM. “The Old Brewery Mission has expertise in homelessness prevention that we don’t have. Their staff know how to work with people who are in dire straits or who are uncooperative. Project Porte-clés will keep our most vulnerable tenants in their homes or give them access to other solutions when low-rent housing no longer meets their needs.”

Second partnership between the Old Brewery Mission and the OMHM

This is the second partnership between the Old Brewery Mission’s prevention service and the OMHM. In 2021, the two organizations launched the Passerelle program, which helps people at imminent risk of homelessness. Once identified and referred by the OMHM’s referral service (Operation July 1), they receive psychosocial support from the Old Brewery Mission team to help them find housing and stay off the streets. Between November 2022 and October 2023, the Old Brewery Mission received 47 referrals through this program, and 26 of them have found a housing solution (moved in or waiting to move in).

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