More homeless families are set to join the hundreds already living in hotels and motels across Ottawa as demand for appropriate shelter space continues to surge.

Between 2014 and 2017, the number of chronically homeless families seeking shelter in Ottawa leapt by 143 per cent. In the past year alone, the city has signed agreements with six more hotels and motels to house homeless families — traditionally a last resort.

But with the recent closure of one of the city’s two dedicated family shelters, the need for shelter space has far outstripped the supply. In 2016, there might have been 50 homeless families put up in hotels and motels on any given night. Now there are closer to 230.