Monday, July 15, 2024

Construction and renovation of 6,000 social housing units at risk in Montreal

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Maria Gill
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The letter, sent on May 24 to Treasury Board Chair and Minister of Canadian Relations, Sonia Leibel, urges Quebec to agree with Ottawa on the criteria for the National Joint Investment Fund for Housing (FNCIL), which was set up in 2018.

Four years later, the two governments are still negotiating the “basic models” that will govern the granting of money, which comes from federal government coffers but is spent on housing, a regional jurisdiction. Several social housing projects that have already been pledged have been affected.

These delays severely affect and unfortunately threaten the viability as well as the realization of some projects in the short term. »

Quote from Excerpt from a letter from Valerie Plante, Mayor of Montreal

According to the Blunt administration, projects aimed at building 1,207 social housing units and renovating 4,700 units in the city have not yet received the funding announced under FNCIL And you can’t see the light of day because of the endless discussions between Quebec and Ottawa.

Thus, without the prospective adoption of these templates, the projects, which must serve a first group of 383 families in low-income Montreal, will not be able to receive funding payments from FNCILsorry for the mayor.

Valerie Blunt says the situation could have a significant impact on the financing of some social housing projects. Unfortunately, the delays incurred already have consequences for the level of affordability of projects and lead, for example, to higher rents and financing costs.

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Montreal is calling for a speedy agreement between the two governments as well as an expedited processing mechanism for some projects that currently need to get the green light from Quebec, in part, in order to gain access to the federal funds.

At the dawn of July 1 and in the context of the housing crisis, it is important to resolve the situation quickly. »

Quote from Excerpt from a letter from Valerie Plante, Mayor of Montreal

He invited the deputy chairman of the city’s executive committee, Benoit Doris, to comment on the message obtained by Radio Canada, and does not hide his indignation, describing the situation as surreal and disgusting. He does not understand why Quebec and Ottawa could not agree on a process that would speed up awarding of funding.

Let’s release the money. We have to find a mechanism by which the money quickly gets to the organizations, and then it is released. Then they will agree on the commasHe says. People don’t want to know who is wrong and who is right. They want to know the money will come.

Benoit Dorries argues that delays lead to higher construction costs, especially in the current inflationary environment, and tenants will end up paying the bill. If the money does not go down, the organizations will have no choice, and housing will be more expensive.

generalized indignation

The National Housing Joint Investment Fund has a budget of $13.2 billion over 10 years in loans and grants to build 60,000 homes and renovate 240,000 units across the country.

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Outside of Quebec, the funds are managed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. But in the province, public bodies and projects financed by Quebec in excess of 50% must obtain the approval of the provincial government to receive funding from the province. FNCIL.

The social housing project for seniors in the Maison des Soeurs de Sainte-Anne, in the Lachine region, may see its costs rise if it does not receive federal funding.

Photo: Radio Canada

The Association of Technical Resource Groups in Quebec has identified 12 social housing projects in the province for which it is “urgent” that the Cabinet adopts a decree allowing them to receive federal funds. She fears that these decrees will not be adopted before the October 3 provincial elections.

Better Son Quartier, which helps organizations and cooperatives implement their housing projects, deplores the feud between the federal and provincial governments.

What we want is for Quebec to stop partial settlement and for us to have a comprehensive settlement. »

Quote from Edith Sear, CEO of Battier Sun Quartier, Inc.

The Social Economy Foundation manages many projects that depend on funding from FNCIL, including the conversion of the Maison des Soeurs de Sainte-Anne, in the town of Lachine. Social Housing Project 270 for Seniors may see its costs rise if it does not receive federal funding.

The group leading the project must find other grants or obtain a loan. Either we increase the subsidy again, and then we start to run out of subsidies, or after that we resort to rentals, and we don’t want thatsays Edith Sear.

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