Anti-gentrification meeting in Verdun

By Tracey Arial

A worker stares at two signs: “rich wanted on the mainland” on the left and “poor not wanted on Nun’s Island” to the right.

The cartoon forms part of a gentrification research report prepared by a working group within Verdun’s citizen action committee (Comité d’action des citoyennes et citoyens de Verdun CACV).

The research group confirmed what many in Verdun instinctively know: increasing rents and the transformation of one-time apartments into condominiums are forcing families out of Verdun.

An open meeting to discuss what can be done will take place at 5:30 tonight at the CACV headquarters, 3972 Verdun Street.

The working group reports that 50 families are evicted from the borough for not paying their rent every year.

More than a third (33.8%) of the families currently renting in the borough have to pay more for housing than they can afford, primarily because rents are increasing at a higher steeper rate than incomes.

Meanwhile, the Wellington–de L’Eglise sector lost 800 rental units between 2006-2011, while the Desmarchais–Crawford sector lost 280 rental units.

More than 50 new condominium projects were built in the borough during the same period. Only 14 per cent of the current renters who live in the borough can afford to purchase a condominium at the average price of $250,000.

Next week, on April 15, at 12:45 p.m., the group will join UQAM students to begin a serious research issue about the subject.

Then, on Thursday, May 1, they’ve planned a social strike in the borough.

They’ll also participate in FRAPRU’s renter’s rights camp in downtown Montreal beginning on May 21.
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