Ottawa, Quebec, Laval mark progress on rejuvenated Val-Martin housing project

Redevelopment includes 235 new units and renovations to 124 existing ones

On March 10, elected officials from three levels of government celebrated the completion of a major step in the revitalization and reconstruction of Laval’s Val-Martin neighbourhood housing project, which began six years ago.

On hand were Laval mayor Stéphane Boyer, Vimy Liberal MP Annie Koutrakis, Quebec Minister Responsible for Housing France-Élaine Duranceau, and Vimont MNA Valérie Schmaltz.

‘Vision for housing,’ says Boyer

“The Val-Martin project is a concrete representation of our vision for housing affordability and healthy neighbourhood intensification, even more so with the inclusion of the Simonne Monet Chartrand community centre to meet the real needs of residents and organizations,” said Mayor Boyer.

“It is with this in mind that we hosted the first Sommet de l’habitation du Québec: to drive the momentum needed for initiatives like these to happen,” he added. “This collaboration with the provincial and federal governments shows how far we have come.”

“Adequate housing is a fundamental human right that is essential to dignity, safety and inclusion,” said Koutrakis. “This housing project is another example of what can be accomplished when all levels of government work together. Through this collaboration, our government is helping to ensure that Laval’s most vulnerable have access to safe and affordable housing that allows them to thrive.”

‘Long-term’ project, says Skeete

“Val-Martin is a long-term project that is revitalizing an entire neighbourhood and improving quality of life for many families,” said Sainte-Rose MNA Christopher Skeete, Quebec Minister for the Economy, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region.

“Our government is committed to investing in projects like this that enhance community life,” he continued. “I congratulate the Office municipal d’habitation de Laval and the City of Laval for their incredible work. This project is a win for the entire Laval region.”

“Today, we celebrate the achievement of a vast undertaking that has changed the face of an entire neighbourhood and is nearing completion,” said France-Élaine Duranceau, Quebec Minister Responsible for Housing.

Improved living conditions

“The new social and affordable housing units that have been built provide a more pleasant living environment for the families and individuals who live there, many of whom are low-income households,” she said. “I applaud the commitment of our project partners. Our government is proud to have invested in this project, which demonstrates our willingness to increase the supply of affordable housing adapted to the realities of all regions of Quebec.”

“The mission of the Office municipal d’habitation de Laval is clear,” said Laval city councillor Flavia Alexandra Novac, president of the board of directors of the Office municipal d’habitation de Laval. “Our goal is to provide quality social and affordable housing, develop our housing stock to better meet the needs of citizens and ensure safe, inclusive, stimulating and user-friendly living environments to improve quality of life for residents in a concrete way.”

A $69 million investment

Until recent years, the Val-Martin housing site had fallen into a state of deterioration and neglect, largely the result of renewal underfunding by various levels of government. However, by the time the last of the project’s seven buildings is completed, the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ) and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will have jointly invested nearly $69 million to build 235 new units and to renovate 124 existing units for families and individuals.

CMHC and SHQ have invested nearly $28.2 million to renovate 124 housing units in three existing buildings — more than $23.9 million in federal funding as part of the 2016 Social Infrastructure Fund Agreement under the Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing, and $4.3 million in funding from the SHQ.

The construction of four buildings with 235 new units was funded through additional investments of $29.2 million and $1.95 million from the SHQ’s AccèsLogis Québec and Rénovation Québec programs. A total of $9.7 million was granted in federal funding via the National Housing Co-investment Fund (NHCF). The NHCF is being delivered across Quebec under the Canada–Quebec Housing Agreement.

‘This housing project is another example of what can be accomplished when all levels of government work together,’ said Koutrakis

Laval’s contribution

The City of Laval invested more than $20.3 million in these projects, including the last 75-unit building currently under construction. This mixed-use building will also house the new Simonne Monet Chartrand community centre, for which municipal investments total nearly $25 million.

In the meantime, the Office municipal d’habitation de Laval is already working on a new phase of the Val-Martin revitalization initiative. To this end, the SHQ has informed the Office municipal d’habitation de Laval that it will contribute $25.5 million to finance repair, decontamination and rehabilitation work on 74 units. In 2023, initial work will focus on the housing project in the block bordered by Pie-X Boulevard and Brien, Henri-Bourassa and Wilfrid-Laurier streets.

Rent supplements available

According to a statement issued by the federal and provincial governments, the tenants of up to 188 of the 235 units built under the AccèsLogis Québec program will be able to benefit from the SHQ’s Rent Supplement Program, ensuring that they will not spend more than 25 per cent of their income on housing. This assistance is covered by the SHQ (90 per cent) and the City of Laval (10 per cent). The Office municipal d’habitation de Laval also received a total of $3.9 million in financial assistance from the SHQ’s Rénovation Québec program. Under this program, assistance is funded equally by the SHQ and the City of Laval.