Protesters denounce evictions, rising rents and lack of social housing in Montreal
Vacancy rates in Montreal are the lowest they've been in 14 years
As Quebec's official moving date, July 1st, approaches, housing advocates are increasing their calls for Montreal and the province to put emergency measures in place for those who still haven't found a place to live.
Saturday, with the date two weeks away, Montreal-based social housing advocacy group FRAPRU led a protest in Montreal, decrying evictions, rising rents and a shortage of social housing in the city, and calling on the municipal and provincial governments to rapidly develop more affordable housing.
Vacancy rates in Montreal are the lowest they've been in 14 years. Advocacy groups, like FRAPRU, say that because of that, rents are rising and tenants living in affordable apartments are being evicted by landlords who want to raise rents or dedicate units to housing-sharing platforms, like Airbnb.
A housing crisis in the early 2000s had prompted the city to open emergency shelters for people who had not yet found apartments.
This year, other cities in Quebec are also experiencing shortages — including Gatineau, Val-d'Or and Granby.
- As Montreal families desperately hunt for affordable housing, advocates warn of looming crisis
- Montreal aims to boost affordable housing as rental market tightens
This time, "it's not like the early 2000s because rental units aren't being built. There are some being built, but the demand is higher than there are projects," said Véronique Laflamme, FRAPRU's executive director.
"And what is being built is far from affordable."
Laflamme added that there is not enough social housing being developed.
Earlier this week, the City of Montreal announced it would require developers to dedicate a portion of condo projects to social housing by 2021.
But Laflamme says that's not soon enough, and the lack of housing could last years still.
With files from Radio-Canada's Michel Marsolais