Aamna Mohammad, her brother, Yaaser, and her mother, Azra Akhtar, at their family's apartment in Côte des Neiges. They have been waiting for subsidized housing for 13 years. Photograph by: PIERRE OBENDRAUF THE GAZETTE, The Gazette
From The Montreal Gazette:
Côte des neiges. One-quarter of tenants spend over half income on shelter.
Aamna Mohammad, on the verge of becoming a teenager, simply wants a wallet to carry her Opus public-transit pass.
"All my friends have one," she respectfully explained to her mom.
For this 12-year-old, even a $1 item from the dollar store lies outside the family budget.
Azra Akhtar handed down that decision yesterday afternoon, with a regretful and obviously well-practised "No.'' "Besides," the 52-year-old Côte des Neiges mother added to her daughter, "who needs a wallet when there's nothing to put in it?" It was humour with a hard edge. Money is tight - and rent is the first item to be paid.
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My Comment: This is the dumping ground for many immigrants who are waiting for an assessment on their residency status, or have been given it. There will always be a crisis point here.