More ‘flexibility’ to develop Laval social housing

City wants help for Val-Martin, where half the units are unuseable


Develop Laval social housing

On Aug. 30 during a consultation meeting held by the Société d’habitation du Québec in Laval, Mayor Marc Demers tabled a memorandum from the City of Laval detailing some of the municipality’s main concerns about public housing problems.

More autonomy sought

In the statement, the city repeats demands already made to the Quebec government that the city be granted greater flexibility as well as more autonomy to develop a more coherent policy with regards to social housing. After presenting the document, the mayor also mentioned that for several years now, his administration has been lobbying Quebec for a special mandatory status, which would grant Laval greater autonomy and flexibility to develop affordable social housing on its own.

Laval/Quebec agreement

“Taking into account that the conditions linked to the status as mandatory city are modified in the context of the restructuring of the AccèsLogis program, we are proposing that the Quebec government conclude a multi-year agreement,” said Demers. “The ultimate goal for Laval is to obtain recurrent financing, as well as the necessary flexibility and autonomy for the coherent development of social housing on its territory.”

Demers cited as an example of social housing problems in Laval the long-neglected Val-Martin neighbourhood, where more than half the dwelling are unusable and vacant because of serious problems involving mildew. “More than 1,000 households are presently registered on the waiting list for social housing in Laval, some for more than three years,” added the mayor.

Val-Martin housing

“The revitalization of this complex has become urgent,” he continued. “We already know that the federal government foresees making investments in social housing in Quebec. These investments will possibly permit the start of a rehabilitation of the Val-Martin housing project, but will not solve all the problems. A guaranteed recurring investment by the governments is absolutely necessary.”

The mayor concluded by thanking the Quebec government for doing the consultation. “The decision to review the programs and interventions as regards housing by making sure to consult the cities and organizations is an initiative that we acknowledge,” he said. “We have confidence that our observations and requests will be heard and that the changes to come will lead to improvements in the situation.”