Montrealers hope federal government will cut rent for YMCA
Published Wednesday, March 15, 2017 7:49PM EDT
Members of the Guy Favreau YMCA are trying to convince the federal government to change its policy on rent in order to save their health club.
About 130 members of the Y met Wednesday to discuss possible strategies.
For decades the YMCA has paid a symbolic $1/year lease for the space in the Guy Favreau complex, but that arrangement was eliminated in 2006.
Since then the rent has increased to $240,000 per year, an amount the Y says it is not able to pay.
Members are hoping the federal government can be convinced to restore subsidies for rent in federal buildings.
"As you know the YMCA was paying $1 a year, a symbolic $1 a year and now today as we know it's been increased to $240,000," said Philip Chu.
"Obviously that's not acceptable for a non-profit organization to pay that amount of money. It's absurd."
Organizers of Wednesday meeting say Guy Favreau YMCA is deeply involved in the community, for example by allowing about 60 homeless people from the area to work out three times a week.
There are currently 2,200 members of the Guy Favreau Y.
They are planning to hold a protest on March 29.
If nothing changes, the Y will close on May 31.