Advertisement

Parc-Ex tenants protest to demand more social housing for their community

Click to play video: 'Parc-Extension tenants protest to demand more social housing for their community' Parc-Extension tenants protest to demand more social housing for their community
WATCH: Parc-Extension residents took to the streets on Saturday afternoon to demand more social housing. As Kwabena Oduro reports, this comes a few days after the City of Montreal bought the building known as Hutchison Plaza for $6.5 million in order to turn it into 40 social housing units – Sep 12, 2020

Parc-Extension residents took to the streets on Saturday afternoon to demand more social housing.

The protest took place at Parc St Roch, near the corner of Durocher and Ball.

This comes a few days after the City of Montreal bought the building known as Hutchison Plaza for $6.5 million in order to turn it into 40 social housing units.

“It was a huge victory for the neighborhood but we can’t really back down now while a number of our neighbours are still facing evictions and having trouble finding places to stay,” says Amy Darwish, community organizer with Comité d’Action de Parc-Extension.

Comité D’Action de Parc-Extension wants the city to once again use their pre-emptive right to buy the building on 7965 de L’Acadie. The right gives the city priority to acquire a lot or a building over any other buyer in order to develop schools, libraries or social housing. They believe this is the perfect sight to address the housing crisis the borough is facing.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s in the north of the neighbourhood where gentrification is a little less present, it’s important that parts of the neighbourhood do remain affordable. Beyond that there has been a number of missed opportunities for social housing in Parc-Ex,” Darwish told Global News.

READ MORE: City of Montreal buys Hutchison Plaza in Parc-Ex for social housing

The City of Montreal says it will consult with the community in order to determine who will be eligible to live in Hutchison Plaza’s future social housing.

However, the city doesn’t know when it will be able to complete the project because it needs the provincial and federal governments to release the $1.4 billion in funding they promised to finance housing projects. Ottawa and Quebec are currently negotiating the terms of that funding.

The Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU) came out to support and stress the importance of social housing in the borough. They are happy with the purchase of the Hutchison Plaza but believe way more is needed.

“This neighbourhood is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Montreal. The crisis has just deepened the needs, we saw the first of July that we had, we see the camp site the emerging throughout the city all of this is just showing that people need housing,” said Youssef Benzouina with the FRAPRU.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Park Extension residents say evictions on the rise amid gentrification

Greguy Jules is a long-time Parc-Ex resident and agrees more needs to be done to support those in need of affordable housing.

“We are facing this housing crisis, it’s extremely important for these people have access to housing. I think we need to go provincial even federal to tackle this because it’s a major problem,” says Jules

Jules moved to Canada when he was 12 years old. He has been living in Parc-Ex ever since and he has never stopped loving his neighbourhood.

“It’s United Nations here. You learn so much, you learn from different cultures, different nationalities. The best way to learn about yourself about life is in the neighbourhood,” Jules told Global News.

Sponsored content