The tenants' rights group FRAPRU is blaming real estate speculation, short-term rentals, Airbnb, and condo development for a rental shorting in Montreal.

The Front d'action populaire en reamenagement urbain (FRAPRU) held a protest on Saturday afternoon to denounce evictions and the plight of low-income renters.

It points to recent data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which showed that last year Montreal's vacancy rate was 1.9 per cent, almost the lowest it has been this century.

FRAPRU spokeswoman Veronique Laflamme said Montreal is going through its worst housing shortage in 14 years.

She said that just two weeks before moving day on July 1, there are still 20 families looking for a place to live.

Since January more than 160 families have asked for help from the Montreal Municipal Housing Office.

Municipal Affairs Minister Andrée Laforest said last month that the housing situation in the province is not a problem, since its similar to vacancy rates from 15 years ago.

Laflamme said the minister does not grasp the seriousness of the situation, adding that about 87,000 families in Montreal spend more than half their income on their rent.