MONTREAL – The Front d’Action Populaire en Réaménagement Urbain (FRAPRU), a local activist group, is calling on the province to invest more in social housing projects. The group is also pushing the federal government to do more.
“Housing is a right, it’s a fundamental right,” insisted François Saillant, FRAPRU coordinator. “The government has the responsibility to make that right realized for everybody and the way to do so is to finance more and invest more in social housing.”
Close to 100 activists gathered in Saint-Henri Sunday afternoon to kick off what they say will be week-long-and province-wide demonstrations.
In the last provincial budget, the Couillard Government announced they would be investing in 1,500 new housing projects across Quebec but demonstrators say that’s not enough.
PHOTO GALLERY: FRAPRU demonstration
Activists say the goal of all the demonstrations is to get the attention of all levels of government by occupying vacant land and buildings.
The hope is to show officials just how many empty buildings across the province could be better used as homes for people in need.
“The needs are very high,” said FRAPRU organizer, Émilie Joly. “One out of three tenants in Quebec pay more than 30 per cent of their revenue to house themselves, which is the standard the government sets for paying too much. So we’re asking the Quebec government to reinvest massively within the AccèsLogis program to build more social housing and at the same time the federal government to act up.”
FRAPRU will be staging more sit-ins in the upcoming week in Montreal, Gatineau, Longueuil, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Rimouski and Rouyn-Noranda.
WATCH BELOW: Social housing in Montreal