5 Montreal Apartments Had Banners To Call Out Renovictions

Moving Day in Montreal is never easy, but for some, it's an awful reminder of the city's unstable and sometimes cruel rental market. The latter experience is what local housing advocates, the Front d'action populaire en réaménagement (FRAPRU) and the Comité d'action des citoyennes et citoyens de Verdun (CACV), brought to everyone's attention in a demonstration on June 30.

According to a press release, "banners were deployed in Villeray, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Parc-Extension, Verdun and on Plateau Mont-Royal on buildings where the tenants were evicted" to highlight "fraudulent evictions" and call for more social housing.

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Montreal "rents are exploding"

"While Montreal lacks affordable housing, rents are exploding," Veronique Laflamme, spokesperson at FRAPRU, said in the statement. 

"With an average rent for vacant units of $1,200 and a median income of only $38,800, one wonders how many Montreal tenants have had to accept living in housing that is too expensive, too small, out of the way or unhealthy to have at least a roof over their heads and how many others are at risk of finding themselves on the street at this time."

The housing crisis in Montreal has been well-documented, with "nearly half of renter households under the age of 24 spending more than 30% of income on housing expenses," according to an April 2021 report by the Conseil jeunesse de Montréal. 

Verdun has become a centre of housing activism — and problems

Verdun has become both a hotbed for housing activism and a microcosm of Montreal's housing crisis. You might remember those viral images of a huge lineup outside an apartment viewing. 

In 2019, MTL Blog reported on the case of Karine Laviolette, an elderly Verdun resident who said she was being harassed by housing speculators and threatened with eviction if she didn't comply with their demands. 

"There are still places in Verdun where rent doubles in one year and though that's not technically legal, companies get around it," Steve Baird, a community organizer at the CACV, said in an interview with MTL Blog

"Verdun seems to be the place where they can flip the most buildings and make the most money."