FRAPRU, the community organization that supports social and affordable housing, is making a public case to the Quebec government to build more affordable housing.
Catherine Lussier, a community organizer for the advocacy group, says there are almost one quarter of one million tenants living in apartments they can’t afford or are in terrible condition.
“The Quebec government needs to recognize the housing crisis, put it as a priority,” Lussier said.
Lussier says 128 tenants in Montreal weren’t able to sign a new lease on the July 1 moving day, forcing them to live temporarily with friends, relatives or be put up in hotels by Montreal city officials.
Lussier fears some of them will be living without a fixed address for months.
The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the situation and closed many Montreal businesses, prompting some into unemployment. Meanwhile, the demand for luxury condos and apartments remains high while the amount of available dwellings remains low, pushing vulnerable tenants out of neighbourhoods.
“We need actually right now to act upon the housing crisis and protect better the tenants from eviction,” Lussier said.
Montreal’s mayor agrees that more affordable housing is needed.
“How important it is to have affordable housing, social housing because this is how we will avoid that type of situation,” Valérie Plante said on Thursday.