Rob Robinson is a homeless and housing rights activist based in Brooklyn, New York, and does national and international organizing work with the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, NESRI. Rob was in Montreal last week for the World Social Forum and sat down with CKUT’s Aaron Lakoff for an in-depth discussion on gentrification, the global right to housing, and taking back the land.
On March the 15th, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) officially released its report Out in the Cold on the state of the Toronto shelter system . The study’s findings are based on numerous interviews with service users and workers. It points out to a shelter system in crisis, plagued by constant overcrowding, harsh living conditions and a city government unwilling to take action.
CKUT reporter Chloe interviewed one of the writers of this report for a summary of the OCAP’s findings. Some of the statistics are hard to believe. For instance, 81% of the people surveyed stated that they had been denied a shelter bed because the shelters were full (see the chart above)! Equally shocking, in most shelters occupancy levels exceeded 90% every night. This is highly problematic given that overcrowded shelters lead to a high stress environment, a poor night’s rest and health issues. Luckily, OCAP volunteers and engaged citizens are taking action against this situation. Check out this video to get an idea of the scope of the protests happening in Toronto.
To get a sense of the state of the shelter system in Montreal, we also interviewed Francois Boissy who is the director of operations at La Maison du Pere, one of the largest homeless shelters in the city. He points out some of the differences between the way the cities of Toronto and Montreal deal with their homeless populations.
Aside from the administrative aspect of the shelter systems of Toronto and Montreal, an important question remains: “how does it feel, for people on the ground, to experience the shelter system in both cities?” Michel, an ex-homeless man that lived on the streets for two years from 2009-2011, explained to our reporter his personal experience with Montreal shelters. In this fascinating interview he talks about the reasons why he became an itinerant in the first place, the different shelters he slept in, food conditions and how shelter services helped him get out of the streets. We are truly grateful for his trust in sharing this story, the full interview is available for stream and download below.
More More I want More!
Click HERE to download the Mp3 file.
On the eve of July 1st, the Moving Day, CKUT Community News Collective got to renew a tradition of holding a Housing Panel on June 30th to inform our listeners about their housing rights as tenants and answer some of the pressing questions. Anouk Millet, Aaron Maiden and Sheila Ferrando along with Emma Noradounkian, who helped with topics research, sat down with Emilie Joly of FRAPRU, Alexandra Pierre of Project Genesis and Fred Burrill of POPIR to discuss the housing questions that are always asked, but the answers to which are hardly known by many.
Did you know about this right?
If it’s your move-in day and there are obvious problems with your apartment, you can “refuse to take a position at a dwelling”. Take pictures to prove it!
~ POPIR & Project Genesis
The panel consisted of roughly three categories such as basic rights, Régie du logement, rights in application and campaigns as well as activism. Kateryna Gordiychuk was live tweeting to get the word out for those who couldn’t listen, and to get radio-lovers and housing rights enthusiasts to participate.
Did you know about this right?
“Your lease renews automatically. Under no circumstances you have to leave your apartment. [… Moreover], the landlord is responsible for the temperature of your apartment”. Montreal’s winter doesn’t seem so scary now, huh?
The housing panel was not only an informative information session for everyone interested, but also a great way for CKUT News Collective to discover a potential for live-panels and in-call questions.
Did you know about this right?
“Rental contract is an agreement between a leaser and a leasee. I say, sign, and complain!”
Read our tweets posted during the live panel HERE. We thank everyone who made the panel possible and special thanks is to our knowledgable guests!
Click HERE to download the Mp3 File.
At the beginning of June the City of Montreal made public an emergency number that can be used by low-income families in need of home as the 1st of July Moving Day is approaching. Whereas some families do indeed qualify to be helped and given home, many households happen not to fall under the definition of a “family”, for example people living by themselves or temporarily homeless people. The program has been running for a few years having helped 26 families last year, and is expected to be even more successful in helping low-income families this summer.
CKUT’s Kateryna Gordiychuk interviewed Émilie Joly from FRAPRU (Front d’Action Populaire en Réaménagement Urbain) to get the organization’s opinion on housing rights and the City’s program in general.
Cliquez ici pour telecharger le fichier audio.
Antoine Cadaux a recu dans En Profondeur Paule Lesperance, membre du collectif Logement Plateau Mont-Royal.
Leurs principaux objectifs sont de défendre le droit au maintien dans les lieux des locataires et de mobiliser ces derniers pour l’obtention de logement social dans le Grand Plateau.
CKUT News Collective
Le Regroupement des comités logement et associations de locataires du Québec (RCLALQ) nous explique la problématique de l’annonce récente du ministre des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire, Pierre Moreau, l’annonce visant à réduire les délais à la Régie du logement.
Leila Lemghalef s’est assise avec Maude Bégin Gaudette, porte-parole du RCLALQ pour discuter d’un communiqué de presse ayant comme thème « Régie du logement : le ministre Moreau pressé de jeter à la rue les locataires en difficulté ».
Selon une entente de 2012, la province est supposée céder le terrain de 43 hectares de Blue Bonnets à la Ville de Montréal pour un développement qui profiterait aux mal-logés du quartier Côte-des-Neiges, mais le dossier stagne. Sheetal Pathek, organisatrice communautaire avec Projet Genèse nous en parle.
Crédit photo : Projet Genèse