Women's right to housing in Montréal: we're working on it, are you?
For immediate release
Montreal, December 1, 2021 - As part of the 12 Days of Action to End Violence against Women, the Table des groupes de femmes de Montréal (TGFM) has published an analysis revealing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the housing crisis on the right to housing for Montreal women and organizations working on the ground.
The effects of the housing crisis have hit the Montreal women particularly hard. Executive director of Logifem, Sally Richmond explains: “Women are confronted with a lack of affordable housing of liveable size, accessible to people with a mobility impairment, and a plethora of prejudices that sustain discrimination in the context of the rental situation. Women are having a difficult time having their rights respected when faced with rent increases, unsanitary dwellings, repossessions, evictions and harassment from either the owners or neighbours”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has trapped many women in violent and abusive environments, deeply affecting homeless women’s lives. Already overloaded prior to the pandemic, lodging resources have become more difficult for women to have access since the health measures have been implemented. Marina Boulos, executive director of Chez Doris, states that “They [homeless women] spend most of their time outside, going towards resources that do not meet their needs or they remain in violent living conditions. Organizations have observed a deterioration in mental health in women living in precarious situations, contributing to an intensification in the need for assistance, which further complicates the process of providing assistance”.
The waiting list for low-income housing displays the significant shortage of transitional and emergency housing. Exacerbating the current crisis is the cumbersome procedure of allocation, eligibility criteria, and regulations which are a source of exclusion. “It is imperative that support for a development in the diversity of accessible housing facilities and permanent dwellings that are inclusive in order to respond and cater to the needs of Montreal women”, says Réseau Habitation Femmes coordinator Sandra Babin. “Women’s groups are mobilizing to develop projects, but they have to deal with an endemic lack of funds”.
The TGFM and its members are hoping the roll-out of the report will generate interaction between the community, institutional, and political sectors. This will allow concrete and ambitious measures to be put in place so Montreal women can finally choose a living space that meet their needs.
For information and interview request:
Ariane Aubin-Cadot, relationniste, cell. : 514 805-3715, firstname.lastname@example.org