NEWS

Montreal tent city planned by affordable-housing group FRAPRU

05/21/2015 08:12 EDT | Updated 05/21/2016 05:59 EDT
A planned tent city in downtown Montreal is not the best way to bring attention to the need for more affordable housing, says Mayor Denis Coderre.

François Saillant, spokesman and coordinator for Montreal social-housing advocacy group FRAPRU, said the tent city is a form of protest against the growing dearth of low-rent options in the city.

Saillant said more subsidies for housing co-operatives and non-profit housing units are getting cut, and that the residents living there are really feeling the burn.

"The rent of the people that are living there will increase a lot. Some people will pay $100, $150 more by month," Saillant said.

Coderre said he supports the group's mission, but a tent city in downtown Montreal could become a health and safety risk if more people join over the summer.

Saillant said the group has taken steps to ensure the camp is safe.

"We don't ask [Coderre] to agree with the camp. We ask him to tolerate the camp," he said.

Saillant said the location of the camp will be made public during a demonstration beginning at Phillips Square at 1 p.m.

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