Photographic exhibition focuses on community housing as a force for change
MONTREAL, Oct.15, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - For Bâtir son quartier, a social economy organization and technical resources group, 2015 is the year in which it celebrates completion of its 10,000th dwelling unit!
A high point of the festivities is a travelling exhibition of art and architecture photographs that opened last week at Montreal's City Hall under the title 10 000 logements, 10 000 foyers de changement ! Continuing until the summer of 2016, the exhibition will be presented in several boroughs. For more information:
The purpose is to draw attention to housing cooperatives and non-profits as discreet, yet unique environments. Numerous and scattered throughout the greater Montreal area, they are often sources of innovation and change on the social, economic or environmental level.
Emphasizing the economic and social role of community housing in Montreal
The vernissage that took place yesterday, October 14, 2015, in the entrance hall of City Hall, attracted over 200 guests, including: public figures such as Phyllis Lambert, elected officials of all political orientations (MP, borough mayors of Montreal, and city councillors of Montreal and Longueuil; representatives of provincial and municipal institutions such as Russel Copeman and Monique Vallée, executive committee members; community organizations; organizations from the housing, construction, real estate and urban planning sectors; investors and financial partners such as Investissement Québec or several Desjardins Group caisses; and, last but not least, citizens who, as collective owners, represented the members or tenants of projects developed by Bâtir son quartier.
The fact that so many people from so many different backgrounds attended the event reflects the strong attachment felt by many local actors for cooperative and non-profit housing, as well as the scope of Bâtir son quartier's action.
With over 400 community housing projects developed in over 27 neighbourhoods and municipalities, Bâtir son quartier is one of Montreal's major real estate developers. Throughout almost 40 years of existence, the organization has helped make the metropolis a more inclusive city.
Through this exhibition, Bâtir son quartier wants to emphasize that it has helped create a long-lasting stock of affordable rental units which have answered the needs of many low- or middle-income households for almost two generations.
An unexpected view of social and community housing
Consisting in three series of pictures taken by photographers Valérian Mazataud and Denis Tremblay and a few partner organizations, the exhibition is intended to counteract accepted notions and dispel a number of prejudices.
The exhibition sheds light on little-known aspects of community housing that will delight people who care about Montreal and social justice: exceptional projects that have recycled former industrial or convent buildings; touching portraits of people living in the housing units who have found not only a roof, but solidarity and support; buildings that meet the highest eco-energetic standards; warm and inviting environments whose architecture and design may prove surprising to many people.
Edith Cyr, director of Bâtir son quartier, commented: "We hope this exhibition will show that community housing in the metropolis is a vital, long-lasting and financially viable undertaking. Collectively, we have many reasons to be proud of community housing. Not only does it provide affordable quality housing, it also empowers individuals and communities, stimulates the construction sector, creates jobs, and is a way of supporting neighbourhood revitalization. This is a social and ecoonomic asset that we need to preserve and develop."
Guy Champagne, director of the Caisse d'économie Desjardins des Travailleurs unis (a partner in the exhibition), explained that the Caisse is especially proud of this partnership because it concretely supports environmentally responsible and sustainable development, which is one of the priorities identified by the committee responsible for the Fonds d'aide au développement du milieu. "As the major financial partner for Quebec workers, we do more than just accompany workers and their organizations as they carry out financial projects. We are also committed to improving their well-being and actively participating in helping them fulfill their dreams and reach their objectives, by providing financial services and advice adapted to their reality and needs."
Finally, according to Normand Bélanger, president and CEO of the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ (a partner in the exhibition), "For over 15 years, we've been working with Bâtir son quartier and other equally committed actors to build or renovate community and affordable housing. Our investments are not only profitable for the Fonds de solidarité FTQ's 610,000 shareholders. They also improve the quality of life for low- or middle-income households and help revitalize neighbourhoods. We salute the work that's been done and remain in solidarity with future projects."
About Bâtir son quartier
Bâtir son quartier is a social economy organization that coordinates the development of community housing and real estate projects in order to create environments based on solidarity for low- and middle-income households. Since its first projects in 1976, Bâtir son quarier has developed close to 400 non-profit or cooperative projects for a total of over 10,000 housing units throughout the greater Montreal area, as well as a wide range of daycare centres, community centres and facilities for social economy organizations.
SOURCE Bâtir son quartier
Image with caption: "Grand Nord - Valérian Mazataud (CNW Group/Bâtir son quartier)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151015_C5819_PHOTO_EN_521488.jpg
For further information: Marie Réveillé, communications agent, 514-933-2755, ext. 316