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Building with 100 social and affordable housing units for independent seniors to be built in Lévis thanks to an innovative partnership

LÉVIS, QC, June 17, 2024 /CNW/ - The governments of Quebec and Canada, in collaboration with Mission Unitaînés and the City of Lévis, have announced the construction of a 100-unit social and affordable housing building for independent seniors over the next two years. The funding for these units stems from the recent Canada–Quebec Agreement under the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF).

Government of Canada Logo (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC))
Government of Canada Logo (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC))

The six-storey building to be constructed in Lévis represents a government investment of $23.5 million, in addition to the contribution from the City of Lévis, which is providing the land and certain breaks on taxes and utility connection costs. A philanthropic donation by Luc Maurice, Chair of the Board of Directors of Mission Unitaînés, will round out the funding package. The work should be finished by spring 2026. Once construction is finished, the Office municipal d'habitation de Lévis will manage and maintain the building using a $500,000 contingency fund provided by Mission Unitaînés. It will also select the building's residents.

The building will include 100 units, with rents varying based on unit size. Equipped with two elevators, sprinklers and a scooter parking area, it will also include a multi-purpose common room, an outdoor patio and landscaping to foster socialization among residents. The monthly rent payment will be set at about $595 for a studio apartment and $900 for a two-bedroom unit.

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The announcement was made by Bernard Drainville, Quebec Minister of Education, Quebec Minister Responsible for the Chaudière-Appalaches Region and Member of the National Assembly for Lévis, on behalf of France-Élaine Duranceau, Quebec Minister Responsible for Housing, and Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert, Joël Lightbound, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. Joining them were Gilles Lehouillier, Mayor of Lévis, and Caroline Sauriol, President and CEO of Mission Unitaînés.

An innovative, multi-party partnership

A total investment of $235 million by the federal and provincial governments will fund the construction of ten 100-unit buildings in ten cities across Quebec, including Lévis.

The government funding is tied to the $900 million in federal funding provided to Quebec through the Canada–Quebec agreement under the Housing Accelerator Fund and the new $900 million in funding announced by Quebec in its fall 2023 economic update.

The contribution of each municipality involved in a construction project is between $3 million and $5 million, either in kind or in the form of a contribution. This includes the transfer of land ready to build on, a three-year tax holiday starting on the transfer date of the land with the building, a building permit (or equivalent grants) and utility connections.

The charitable organization Mission Unitaînés will be responsible for designing and constructing the ten buildings. At completion, the organization will provide the municipality, or a non-profit organization designated by the municipality — in Lévis's case, the Office municipal d'habitation de Lévis—with a building ready for commissioning for a nominal fee and no mortgage. In addition, each building will have a $500,000 reserve fund from a philanthropic donation by Luc Maurice. Other partners will complement the funding with philanthropic contributions to enhance the residents' quality of life.

Thanks in particular to economies of scale and the partners' expertise, this new model has the advantage of creating 1,000 units in several Quebec regions at a lower cost than the units the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ) is currently developing. It also ensures that the buildings will be debt-free.

Quotes:

"I've often said that we need to innovate to build more and better housing, especially given the current housing crisis. This collaboration with Mission Unitaînés is proof that our government is taking concrete action, together with our federal partner and the municipalities, to better house seniors in Quebec. I'm excited by this project, which mobilizes stakeholder expertise to very quickly build quality affordable housing. We are determined to deliver results through this partnership."

France-Élaine Duranceau, Quebec Minister Responsible for Housing

"Through partnership projects like this one with Mission Unitaînés, we are innovating to improve the life of our communities. With the construction of 100 new units in Lévis, we are providing hundreds of seniors with a safe, welcoming and affordable place to call home where they can age better. Together, we're building a future where everyone can thrive. Our commitment to Quebecers is demonstrated in concrete actions that make a real difference."

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Member of Parliament for Québec

"Our seniors are the builders of today's Quebec. They deserve to live in warm, modern places where they can aspire to dignity and a high quality of life. That's why the government wants to rapidly build more affordable housing, without compromising on quality. Thanks to Mission Unitaînés projects, many Levisians will soon benefit from new social and adapted housing, built in the heart of our community. I'm delighted at this great news for the citizens and seniors of the entire Chaudière-Appalaches region!"


Bernard Drainville, Quebec Minister of Education, Quebec Minister Responsible for the Chaudière-Appalaches Region and Member of the National Assembly for Lévis

"The implementation of the Housing Accelerator Fund in Quebec is paving the way for innovative solutions. The partnership between Mission Unitaînés and the municipalities, supported by funding from the governments of Canada and Quebec, will allow more housing units to be built, more rapidly, to provide appropriate housing to thousands of low- and moderate-income seniors."

Joël Lightbound, Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert

"Since housing accessibility is among the priorities of the City of Lévis, we're very excited to work with Mission Unitaînés to develop a social housing project on our territory. These 100 new units will support the quality of life of our seniors, who will enjoy a healthy living environment adapted to their needs and conducive to their personal development. The construction of these units is another step towards achieving our goal of developing 1,000 social and affordable housing units by 2031. I'd like to thank the federal and provincial governments, as well as Mission Unitaînés, for their contribution to this forward-looking project, which we are thrilled to be part of."

Gilles Lehouillier, Mayor of Lévis

"The Office municipal d'habitation de Lévis considers itself to be a privileged partner in this wonderful project. We are proud to participate in providing an adequate, pleasant and safe living environment for our seniors, the pillars of our society. We salute Mr. Luc Maurice's altruistic gesture and his commitment to "living better together". An initiative that we hope will inspire many others. We look forward to welcoming our new residents soon!"

Gérard Truchon, Chair of the Board of Directors, Office municipal d'habitation de Lévis

"This meaningful project is in line with the mission I've set myself to help people in our society age better, so that they feel safer, freer, happier and less isolated. Twenty-five years of working hard to build and develop housing for seniors has given me a good understanding of their needs and solid expertise in the design, construction and management of state-of-the-art seniors' residences. Now I want to put this expertise to work for our less affluent seniors. I'm also very grateful to those who have helped make this wonderful challenge a reality so quickly."

Luc Maurice, Chair of the Board of Directors, Mission Unitaînés

Highlights:

  • Seniors who settle in these units and are eligible may benefit from the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ)'s Rent Supplement Program, which would ensure that they do not spend more than 25% of their income on housing. This additional assistance is covered by the SHQ (90%) and the municipality where the project is located (10%).

  • The financial model was designed to provide long-term housing units whose rent is equivalent to 25% of residents' income. Rent has been set at an average of $595 per month for a one-bedroom unit including heating, electricity and Wi-Fi. Rent increases will be limited by agreements with the SHQ to make sure units remain affordable in the years to come.

About the Société d'habitation du Québec

As a leader in housing, the SHQ's mission is to meet the housing needs of Quebecers through its expertise and services to citizens. It does this by providing affordable and low-rental housing and offering a range of assistance programs to support the construction, renovation and adaptation of homes, and access to homeownership.

To find out more about its activities, visit www.habitation.gouv.qc.ca/english.

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About Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

As Canada's authority on housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC's aim is that, by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on TwitterInstagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Government of Quebec Logo (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC))

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

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View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2024/17/c9151.html