Seniors' building in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve - Relocation of tenants and major renovations at Habitations Nicolet

MONTREAL, May 21, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal (OMHM) will be carrying out major renovations at Habitations Nicolet—apartments for seniors—to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the tenants living there. These restoration operations—both inside and outside this eight-storey building—will require relocating all tenants for approximately three years' time.

The OMHM has informed the 77 households and also the Résolidaire organization, which occupies a community space there. Over the coming weeks, OMHM teams will be meeting with the tenants individually, to undertake the first step of this vast project. "We will be providing support to the tenants in choosing an apartment and neighbourhood, drawing up an inventory—along with them—to list the resources available, answering their questions and listening to their concerns. The OMHM will be available for the tenants every step of the way," pointed out Marie Pigeon, Director - East Sector.

The current situation
Following irregularities noted on the exterior brickwork and the health concerns expressed by some of the tenants, last fall, the OMHM hired specialists to assess the structure and the building envelope, the electro-mechanical systems and the air quality. The specialists confirmed that the building structure is sound, but that Habitations Nicolet—built 40 years ago—does have some irregularities with regard to the building envelope and the electro-mechanical equipment, which have caused various problems over the years.

After having received these specialists' first reports, with their findings of mould, the OMHM met with the tenants last November 15, to present them an initial update on the situation. The OMHM then promised to relocate those tenants whose health condition might raise concerns of possible health hazards. Nearly 20 households asked to be relocated since that time and 14 households have been relocated to date.

At the same time, the OMHM contacted the Direction de la santé publique (DSP) de Montréal to bring this situation to its attention and reach an agreement on a joint intervention. The DSP reiterated the importance of making tenants aware that they should keep watching for symptoms and consult their doctor to assess their health condition if they are worried about it.

Following an in-depth examination of the building problems and the best solutions to adopt, the OMHM met with all the tenants again, just recently, on May 17, to present them the renovations to be carried out and to explain the need to relocate them in order to do so. Dr. Louis Jacques of the DSP also took part in the meeting to discuss the risks related to the presence of mould.

Major renovations
The renovations will include completely redoing the roof, exterior walls and brickwork, adding a new ventilation unit, replacing the doors and windows and restoring the balconies. Inside, all bathrooms and kitchens will be modernized and community spaces improved; moreover, both elevators and electro-mechanical equipment will be upgraded. The building will also be decontaminated in order to eliminate all traces of mould. These renovations are scheduled to begin next spring and, based on initial estimates, they should take between 18 and 24 months to complete.

Reassuring expertise
"While the renovations are under way, the tenants would be too uncomfortable and therefore, they need to be relocated," stated Mrs. Pigeon. Backed by its expertise in relocating tenants, the OMHM is assuring the tenants of Habitations Nicolet that all efforts will be made to see that this operation is conducted in the best possible way. "Once the renovations have been completed, the tenants will be able to return to their apartments and live in a healthy, safe and more attractive environment," added Mrs. Pigeon in her closing remarks.

The OMHM
The OMHM is a non-profit organization created in 2002, following the merger of the fifteen municipal housing bureaus on the island of Montréal. It manages the largest number of residential rental properties on the island:

  • 20,810 housing units within the Low-Rent Social Housing (HLM) Program
  • 7313 housing units (agreements with owners in the private or community sector) within Rent Supplement (PSL) Programs
  • 1936 other housing units mainly built within the Québec Affordable Housing Program

To carry out its mission, the OMHM counts on the commitment of 740 employees.

Since 2008, the OMHM has been involved in a vast plan to renovate its properties, through grants received within the Plan québécois des infrastructures. Already, over $355 million has been invested in these projects.

SOURCE: Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal

For further information:

Source:
Louise Hébert, Director
Communications Department - Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal

Information:
Sébastien Maranda
Morin Relations Publiques
514 289-8688, ext. 231
email: sebastienm@morinrp.com 

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Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal

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