In the News
Quebec Days of Action to Affirm the Human Right to Housing!
Actions Demand Funding for Social Housing
Beginning February 12, the People’s Action Front on Urban Renewal (FRAPRU –) is organizing actions in several Quebec regions to demand government funding for social housing construction. The first is a demonstration this Saturday, February 12 in Montreal at 1:30 p.m. at Norman Bethune Square.
In its call to action, FRAPRU points out that the housing crisis continues to worsen throughout Quebec. Most regions are experiencing a housing shortage. According to the organization, over 244,000 Quebec tenant households are living in housing that’s too small, too expensive or in poor condition. Unacceptable rent increases and evictions continue to hit people on a daily basis. Finding a place to live has become almost impossible. Faced with this crisis, many have no alternative and run the risk of ending up on the street.
FRAPRU points out that the Legault government’s response to the crisis is totally inadequate. On the one hand, it continues to underfund social housing while on the other, it has announced that it will be providing subsidies to private developers to build “affordable” housing, without defining what those units will be in terms of rent targets and the percentage of income to be spent on housing. In addition, private developers may terminate their commitments to the government during the contract’s term, ending the affordability period and leaving tenants high and dry.
One of the themes of the actions is opposition to the privatization of housing assistance.
FRAPRU’s stand is that, in the long term, only social housing in the form of low-income dwellings (HLM), cooperatives and non-profit housing which does not operate on the basis of private profit and is managed by user and community collectives, can meet the critical needs of low- and moderate-income tenants. Thousands of social housing units are ready to be built, but are still waiting for sufficient funding.
In Quebec, social housing falls under the responsibility of the AccèsLogis program, and FRAPRU and its members are calling for massive investments to the program in order to immediately deliver the 7,000 social housing units pending. As of the next budget, they are demanding a new program of 10,000 social housing units per year for several years.
Workers’ Forum calls on workers to do everything they can to make these actions successful.
(Workers’ Forum, posted February 11, 2022)