Montreal

Protesters denounce evictions, rising rents and lack of social housing in Montreal

Saturday, Montreal-based social housing advocacy group FRAPRU led a protest in Montreal, 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

Housing advocates held a protest, calling on the city to do more to help people who haven't found places to live in time for the province's moving date, July 1. (Radio-Canada)

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. 

Véronique Laflamme of the housing advocacy group FRAPRU says not enough social housing is being developed in Montreal. (Radio-Canada)

This year, other cities in Quebec are also experiencing shortages — including Gatineau, Val-d'Or and Granby.

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." 

A few hundred people gathered in Montreal to denounce evictions, rising rents and a shortage of social housing in the city. (Radio-Canada)

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

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