The number of Quebec households without a roof over their heads after July 1 moving day is currently 600. That number "could continue to rise in the coming days," warned Véronique Laflamme, spokesperson for the Front d'action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU), at a news conference in Montreal on Saturday.

The organization presented its annual report the day after July 1, when leases in Quebec expire. On the eve of this date, 750 households were at risk of finding themselves in the same situation, FRAPRU says.

"For the moment, the 600 households identified are accompanied by an assistance service. They are 'mostly housed with relatives' and 'some are housed by municipalities or by the Red Cross," said Laflamme.

However, she said the number could rise again this month.

"Last year, we saw that the situation continued to deteriorate in the days following July 1," she said, noting that the trend has never been seen before.

In addition, the period of time that homeless families are housed "is starting to be counted in weeks rather than days" or even months, she said, calling on the provincial government to "ensure that the assistance measures that were announced for July 1 are in place until everyone is rehoused.

Another recent phenomenon is that the housing crisis is not only affecting the big cities but also many municipalities in the regions.

FRAPRU estimates that 135 of the households in need are located in Drummondville, 50 in Sherbrooke, 24 in Trois-Rivières, 23 in Cowansville and 20 in Granby.

Meanwhile, Joliette and Rimouski each have 10 homeless families.

According to the latest annual survey of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, published last February, some 30 Quebec municipalities had a vacancy rate of less than 1, Drummondville (0.2 per cent), Joliette (0.5 per cent) and Trois-Rivières (0.9 per cent).

On average, centres with a population of 10,000 or more had a vacancy rate of 2.5 per cent.

The Montreal metropolitan area, on the other hand, had a slightly higher result, with 3.0 per cent.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on July 2, 2022.