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.
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
"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 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
To carry out its mission, the OMHM counts on the commitment of 740
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:
Louise Hébert, Director
Communications Department - Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal
Morin Relations Publiques
514 289-8688, ext. 231