Naima’s first notice came in winter 2019 after a neighbouring apartment was damaged by a fire. Naima’s family had to leave so that the landlord could do renovations. Upon returning, Naima was faced with an eviction notice. Although the decision of the Administrative Housing Tribunal (TAL) ultimately ruled in her favor, it was not made until October 2022. “Imagine the stress we lived through for three years while waiting to learn whether we could stay,” said Naima.
Fortunately, Naima received invaluable support from the Comité logement Rosemont, a community agency that defends and promotes tenants’ rights. “They helped me, supported me, and reassured me that I would win because my case was strong,” she said.
Unfortunately, the landlord persisted and a month later, issued a notice of repossession. Naima once again filed a case with the TAL. Determined not to sit by while waiting for their ruling, she spent most of her free time poring through rental websites but with no success. She felt extremely helpless. “I would wake up at night to see if a landlord had replied to my message. It was all I thought about,” she admitted.
Naima’s search was made even more challenging due to Greater Montreal’s housing crisis. Apartments that are big enough for her family of four are very hard to find in her area. “I love my apartment. I can easily go to stores and public transit, and the neighbourhood is very quiet. This environment is a great place for us to raise our children,” said Naima.
“I would wake up at night to see if a landlord had replied to my message.
It was all I thought about.”
Besides these difficulties, Naima must also consider the specific needs of her partner, who has reduced mobility, but finding universally accessible housing is almost impossible. On top of that, owners often don’t want to rent to families with children and may also charge high rents that can be double or even triple what she currently pays.
On March 24, 2023, the TAL finally ruled in Naima’s favour for a second time. Although this was a relief for Naima and her husband, they remain concerned about losing their home someday.
Watch Naima’s testimony
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