Solidarity Fund QFL Invests Another $5 Million in Social and Community Housing in Montréal



    MONTREAL, June 17 /CNW Telbec/ - At a press conference held today, the
Solidarity Fund QFL ("Fund") announced the creation of a $5 million investment
fund called Fonds d'acquisition de Montréal s.e.c. (Montréal Acquisition Fund
LP) to be used to reserve lots with a view to building social and community
housing in Montréal. The investments made by this Fund will be in addition to
those made by Fund's Real Estate Fund in this sector.
    Thanks to this fund, more than 1,250 new social and community dwellings
will be built over the next five years, creating some 400 direct and indirect
jobs each year. The first project, which involves converting the former
Bellechasse Hospital into 68 such dwellings, is already underway. A new
building next door will create another 23 units. The work is slated for
completion in early 2009.
    "This new investment is consistent with our mission of solidarity and
economic development. Back in 2004, we responded to the mayor of Montréal's
appeal made at the 2002 Montréal Summit to help resolve the shortage of
affordable housing by kicking off five real estate projects, most of which
have since been completed. Since then, we have continued to invest through our
Real Estate Fund. We are very proud of our commitment to social and community
housing, which allows us to help improve Montrealers' quality of life," said
René Roy, Secretary of the Fund's Board of Directors and General Secretary of
the QFL.
    "It's encouraging to see initiatives such as the one put forward by the
Solidarity Fund QFL emerge outside the government. The creation of the
Montréal Acquisition Fund shows that profitability can go hand-in-hand with
helping the community, in this case, affordable housing, and is a prime
example of the Fund's social commitment," added Cosmo Maciocia, City of
Montréal Executive Committee member responsible for housing.
    "We're happy that the first project the Montréal Acquisition Fund decided
to back is the conversion of Bellechasse Hospital into community housing. The
borough and the community are behind this initiative, which meets the needs of
families and individuals while improving the quality of life of all those in
Rosemont-La Petite Patrie," said borough mayor André Lavallée.
    The development projects funded by the Montréal Acquisition Fund will be
overseen by Bâtir son quartier, an organization that already manages thousands
of community, co-op and non-profit dwellings. The funds provided by the
Montréal Acquisition Fund will be used to reserve lots, giving the
organization the time it needs to structure the construction projects.
"Reserving properties is a crucial step for us because we need an average of
12 to 18 months to get this type of project off the ground due to the work
involved with the stakeholders and people in charge of housing funding
programs. We are thrilled to be able to count on the Solidarity Fund QFL.
Thanks to their support, we are assured that our affordable-housing projects
will come to fruition. There is still a great need for this type of housing in
Montréal, where over 96,000 low-income tenant households spend more than 50%
of their income on housing," said Bâtir son quartier director Edith Cyr.

    A solid track record from the Solidarity Fund QFL

    The Fund has a solid track record backing social and affordable housing
projects, with close to $64 million invested since 2003 through its Real
Estate Fund, resulting in 1,449 dwellings, including 466 affordable units,
504 social housing units, and 479 units under the Accès-condo program.
    For example, Pelletier Street in Montréal-Nord was revitalized by the
construction of 235 affordable apartments for seniors, while Clairières du
Mainbourg in Pointe-aux-Trembles has 108 such units. Located at the corner of
St-Louis and Crevier streets in Ville St-Laurent, Habitations du Carrefour has
231 apartments for the elderly, and seniors in the St-Henri neighbourhood will
soon see a new 150-unit building go up on de Courcelles Street.
    The Fund's Real Estate Fund has also financed the social housing projects
of various Montréal organizations, such as the building on the old Alcatel
industrial site, which now contains 178 apartments for families, individuals
and seniors, and the conversion of a part of the former Imperial Tobacco
factory into 78 social housing units. This Fund has also backed the Promis
project on Côte Ste-Catherine Street, a housing development for immigrant
families.
    Finally, under the Accès-condo program, the Real Estate Fund is investing
in a number of complexes as well as overseeing their construction or
renovation. One such project is the Biscuiterie Viau, whose conversion into
182 affordable condos was completed last July.
    Eloquent examples that attest to the Fund's commitment to this sector.

    About the Solidarity Fund QFL

    With net assets of over $7.4 billion as at November 30, 2007, the
Solidarity Fund QFL is a development capital company that through its RRSP
channels the savings of Quebecers into investments in all sectors of the
economy to help create and maintain jobs and to further Québec's economic
growth. The Fund is a partner, either directly or through its network members,
in 1,696 companies. It currently has more than 575,000 shareholders and has
helped, on its own or with other financial partners, to create, maintain and
protect over 122,000 jobs. For more information, visit www.fondsftq.com.




For further information:

For further information: The telephone number provided below is for the
exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives; Source:  Josée
Lagacé, Senior Advisor, Press Relations and Communications, Fonds de
solidarité FTQ, (514) 850-4835, jlagace@fondsftq.com


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