HLM: an unhappy anniversary
Several slogans calling for social housing and the renovation of public housing were chanted on rue Saint-Antoine Ouest opposite Habitations Coursol.
The 53 housing units of Habitations Coursol have been awaiting renovations for five years, as have several low-income housing (HLM) in the Little Burgundy sector, while the government had announced funding for their renovations on the same date last year. last.
This situation prompted the P.O.P.I.R. – Project of popular organization, information and regrouping, which defends the tenants of Saint-Henri, Little-Bourgogne, Côte-Saint-Paul and Ville-Émard – to organize a demonstration, on November 24, to remind the government provincial its promise, in a context all the more urgent because of inflation increasing precariousness and homelessness.
“We find ourselves symbolically here, in the cradle of the largest rental housing stock in Montreal, and yet, the temporary housing resources for single mothers are overflowing while there are apartment buildings that could be renovated, underlines Maryan Kikhounga -Ngot, one of the organizers of the demonstration. There are more than 200 empty units in the neighborhood awaiting renovations, and the government is doing nothing.”
Roger Desmarais, volunteer with the P.O.P.I.R housing committee in Saint-Henri, fears for the future since there is not enough social housing for the demand which continues to increase with immigration and global warming.
Our own children have to live in cohabitation so much the rents are made expensive. What are our grandchildren going to do? There are increases in immigration and we are having difficulty housing our own citizens. We must not be blind: climate change will bring us climate refugees and we are not even thinking about where we are going to house them.
Roger Desmarais, volunteer for the P.O.P.I.R Housing Committee of Saint-Henri
Several demonstrators were present in front of Habitations Coursol to demand more actions and fewer promises. Caption: David Beauchamp
Social housing rather than affordable
Ms Kikhounga-Ngot insists that the buildings are already present and that it is enough only to renovate them to make them accessible to families who need them, thus making them less expensive to build. However, she fears that once renovated, these units will be used for affordable housing and not social housing.
“Our main concern concerns affordability. The majority of the clientele we receive is on low income or on welfare and a 3 ½, according to current affordable housing programs, is far too expensive for them. What we want is social housing where the tenant pays 25% of his income. Developing exclusively affordable housing scares us, because it is not the solution to the crisis,” she concludes.