A word from FGM, July 2021

As often happens around July 1, recent news stories have shone the spotlight on the issue of housing. We know that many households are unable to find decent lodging at an affordable price. Or even find a place to live, period. Their distress is very real, and the situation calls for urgent and forceful action from governments. Most notably, the building of social housing must be sped up. The philanthropic and community sectors can, for their part, help those for whom housing is an urgent need. FGM’s Collective Fund for Social Equity will in fact make this a primary focus among our post-COVID-19 priorities. We will officially launch this new fund by year’s end,

But even before the pandemic hit, signs were pointing to a new housing crisis. That was one of the findings of the Vital Signs of Greater Montreal report published by the Foundation in June of 2020: affordable and adequate housing for Montreal families is getting scarcer. We can see evidence of that in the fact that a third of Montrealers have to spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and that more than 24,000 people are languishing on waiting lists to obtain subsidized housing. In short, the demand far outstrips the supply. The market is simply unable to respond to the needs.

Recent news reports have shown that an average Montreal-area rent – for currently available housing – exceeds $1,300 per month for a “four-and-a-half”, a figure that was confirmed by the CMHC. That amounts to $15,600 per year, which is above what is considered an acceptable cost for housing, that is 30% of the average annual income of Montreal households. In 2019, that figure stood at $47,400. Just imagine what the situation is like for low-income families or individuals.

A housing crisis for the most vulnerable

Let’s not forget that it is the most vulnerable who most feel the effects of rental inflation. The elderly who live on a fixed income; individuals who head up large or single-parent families and their children; and many immigrant or racialized individuals. For them, difficulty in accessing housing is yet another instance of the systemic discrimination they experience. The scientific literature has amply demonstrated the negative impacts of inadequate housing on mental and physical health, stress and sleep.

Many of those who are impacted by the housing crisis are forced to fall back on apartments that are too expensive, or not adequate, often too small or too far from the city centre, or even out-and-out unsanitary. Others will find themselves out on the street. Housing is also a public health issue. And when it comes right down to it, our city’s social diversity is threatened, too. We need to collectively find new solutions to this problem that is having such a major impact on the health, safety and cohesiveness of our community. Along with its partners and donors, the Foundation of Greater Montréal will be there to support those who strive to find and implement those solutions. Scroll down to learn about a few of them.

Karel Mayrand
President and CEO
Foundation of Greater Montréal

FGM’s Stories of the Month

July 2021

« A Roof and a Seat at the Table for All » in Verdun

In Verdun, an initiative known as Giving Everyone a Roof and a Seat at the Table is one of the collective actions the Collective Impact Project supports. It works to help vulnerable people stay in the neighbourhood.

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The Fondation du Centre jeunesse de la Montérégie’s Projet Clé

The Projet Clé offers a roof and individualized support to sustain the academic success of the Montérégie’s Youth Centers users, through financial backing, administrative support and access to a mentor.

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LogisAction Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

LogisAction NDG works to offer services to the tenants of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in order to find solutions to their rental housing problems, as well as programs and workshops to promote the rights of all tenants.

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