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Housing & Homelessness: How Montreal’s Housing Crisis Leaves People On the Streets
In the first episode of Local 514, host Savanna Craig takes an in-depth look at the homeless crisis in Montreal. The province-wide curfew puts the unhoused at risk, some shelters have recently experienced COVID-outbreaks and the recent death of Raphael André shows how homeless people are at-risk during the pandemic and the winter. This episode also looks at the intersection of the housing crisis, which is driving further homelessness due to the lack of affordable housing, low vacancy rates and lack of social housing in Montreal.
This topic is important to Montreal because the homeless population has roughly doubled between March and September 2020. With lack of affordable and social housing, the recent demolition of two tent cities in Montreal, as well as many shelters functioning at a reduced intake and some shelters recently experiencing COVID-outbreaks – many are left with limited safe and affordable options. The City of Montreal has decided to increase the police budget despite recent calls to reduce it, with money to boost this budget taken from housing, which is essential to reduce homelessness. Along with assessing the situation in Montreal, some of our guests also provide recommendations of how individuals and the City of Montreal can aid the situation. Our guests on the program include Amy Darwish of the Parc-Extension Action Committee; Real Estate Broker Faiz Abhuani; Alexandre and Diana Warwick, tenants of the Notre-Dame tent city; James Hughes. President of the Old Mission Brewery; Sam Watts, CEO of the Welcome Hall Mission and Nakuset, Director of the Native Women's Shelter and Co-Manager of Resilience Montreal.