MONTREAL - A broken elevator has trapped some disabled tenants inside their St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu apartment building.

A week ago, the elevator at Handi-Logement stopped working, preventing Patrick Leblanc, who uses a wheelchair, from leaving his third floor apartment.

"I have no contact with exterior people, no contact with my friends," he said.

When the elevator breaks, he can't leave the apartment. Melanie Rochon, who lives with him, can take the stairs, but only slowly and with difficulty.

It isn't the first time he and Rochon have been unable to leave their home. In the summer, an elevator failure kept them from leaving for three weeks. 

But the building where the couple lives presents itself as a home for disabled people. Handi-Logement offers housing to low-income, disabled tenants, according to a description of the complex on It is run by a government agency.

Building managers at the housing complex told Leblanc and Rochon that the building is old, and the elevator won't be up and running until parts are shipped from China.

It could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for the parts to arrive. As a result, some residents will have to move out. The corporation that manages the building said two people have been hired to help with the moves, at no costs to tenants. They added that $160,000 had been dedicated to renovating part of the elevator.

"We hope it's going to get better," Rochon said. "We hope it's going to solve the problem that we are waiting for."  

With files from CTV Montreal's Emily Campbell