Community groups are blasting the Quebec government for not doing enough to fund social housing in the city.
They point to one example on Mont Royal Avenue East near Jean Duceppe Park in the Rosemont district as proof that the province is oblivious to the urgency of the situation.
“This project has been accepted by the City of Montreal three years ago,” said Robert Mackrous, chairperson of Les Habitations du Réseau de l’Académie (RESAC), a non-profit housing organization.
“All the studies have been made, everything is fine.”
According to them, funding from the provincial government did not come through even though the need for social housing in the area is great.
“We have lots of people waiting for social housing,” Mackrous pointed out. “A thousand only in this district, 25,000 all over Montreal.”
This project is supposed to have 78 units, 68 reserved for families
Advocates, like Claire Garnier of Fédération des OSBL d’habitation de Montréal (FOHM ), say several planned social and affordable housing projects in the city have been put on hold because of lack of financing by the province.
“Despite all of the announcements, despite the numbers, despite all of the communication that is made around the subject,” she noted, “in real life we have land and no apartment on it.”
Yves Marcotte, president of Rêvanous, another housing rights group, agrees.
“One of the projects was supposed to be available for the end of 2023,” he told Global News, “and it was totally stopped.”
One major criticism of the Quebec government is that the province hasn’t put enough cash into the AccèsLogis program, which pools public, private and community resources to build social and affordable housing.
Global News did not hear back from the Quebec ministry of municipal affairs and housing before deadline.
In the middle of the ongoing provincial election campaign, the housing groups are calling on the next government to go beyond making promises.
“We want the AccesLogis to actually not only stay in place,” stressed Garnier, “but being decently funded.”
She believes unless that happens, promises made during an election campaign won’t mean much.