Laval asks Ottawa for $102 million to fast-track housing

In a bid to obtain financial aid from Ottawa’s Housing Accelerator Fund, the City of Laval says it has made a formal application to the federal government for $102 million in order to answer increasing housing needs here.

In a statement the city issued last Monday, it noted that funding from the Housing Accelerator Fund must pass through the Quebec government first before being transferred to municipalities and that the logistics of the transfer are yet to be announced.

Mayor Stéphane Boyer.

Municipalities across Canada had until Aug. 18 to submit action plans to the federal government to be eligible to receive funding. The City of Laval says that from 2018 to 2022, an average 1,244 units of housing per year were built. The city wants to increase that number to 1,839 housing units per year by 2026. The maximum amount that can be received under the program is $102 million.

In addition to expenses by the city related to housing construction, the financial assistance can also be used to create new public infrastructure for new housing, such as sewer system flood mitigation systems, improved fire department services and community facilities.

Laval’s action plan as submitted to the federal government takes into account not only an increase in housing starts on its territory, but also aims to encourage access and affordability of housing for all. The overall plan includes 20 initiatives, including an element of support for the construction of affordable rental housing, a reduction in delays for construction permits, and the implementation of the city’s new urban plan.

Laval says it is currently involved in discussions with the Quebec government over the possibility of new responsibilities being assigned to the city by the province so that the city can handle more housing-related projects on its own.

In a statement, Laval mayor Stéphane Boyer said he and other members of city council were hopeful the two higher levels of government would soon reach an agreement allowing Laval to play more of an active role in helping to resolve the current housing crisis.

“My colleagues and I are impatient to learn more on the modalities on the Ottawa/Quebec agreement to come,” said Boyer. “One thing is certain, and that is that it will quickly be resolved in order to free up the sums necessary so that municipalities can play a larger role.”

‘Tablée des Chefs’ comes to Laval thanks to a $75,000 subsidy

The City of Laval says that a $75,000 subsidy that was recently paid to the Tablée des Chefs for the construction of a comprehensive new kitchen facility at the Laval location of the École hôtelière et d’administration convinced the organization to come to Laval.

The Tablée des Chefs had locations in Longueuil, Quebec City and Montréal, but now adds Laval to the list. The subsidy came from the Fonds entrepreneuriat collectif, overseen by Laval économique, which is responsible for economic development in Laval.

The new kitchen will facilitate the preparation of up to 200,000 meals per year at the Centre de services scolaire de Laval, as well as providing a training facility for cooking camps during the summer holidays.

“The arrival of the Tablée des Chefs à Laval adds to the community eco-system on our territory,” Mayor Stéphane Boyer said in a statement.

“This is a project bringing people together which answers to numerous needs of Laval residents through various initiatives and services. This is also something being done in conjunction with local farmers and related organizations in the region, in order to provide nourishment to the community while sharing knowledge with citizens and others who are involved.”

“Our involvement with social economy organizations like the Tablée des Chefs is an integrated part of our inclusive, cooperative and targeted vision to encourage the success of promising projects that answer to the needs on the Laval territory,” said Lidia Divry, executive-director of Laval économique. Founded in 2002, the Tablée des Chefs has a two-part mission: to help reduce food insecurity, and to help educate the young so that they are able to become autonomous when it comes to food and nutrition.