Martin C. Barry
Senior citizens with reduced autonomy living in western Laval will have 141 additional units of affordable housing to retire in beginning by the spring of 2020 with construction well underway on a ten-storey retirement residence at 3270 Saint-Elzéar Blvd. in Chomedey.
Quebec Municipal Affairs Minister Andrée Laforest joined Laval mayor Marc Demers, Sainte-Rose CAQ MNA Christopher Skeete and other guests on June 21 for a brick-laying ceremony outside the building, marking the culmination of a heartfelt community effort.
A community effort
The project, costing $27.5 million in all, is a collaboration between the Société d’habitation du Québec and les Habitations Le Repère, the community-based group that initiated and led the project.
The SHQ, through its AccèsLogis program, is paying $10.3 million, in addition to acting as guarantor for a mortgage taken out by Les Habitations Le Repère. The City of Laval contributed more than $2.8 million, although the sum will be reimbursed by the Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM). Le Repère will be managing 3270 Saint-Elzéar once it is completed.
Meeting seniors’ needs
In an address, Mayor Demers noted that 17 per cent of the population of Laval consists of senior citizens “and their needs are growing,” he said. “We have to make affordable housing available for them throughout the city. We are very proud of this announcement today. We have some catching up to do with regards to affordable and social housing. We have to continue with the efforts.”
The Municipal Affairs Minister pointed out the importance of remembering senior citizens. “The Coalition Avenir Québec government – our government – is proud to participate financially in the realization of this housing project,” Laforest said. “Proud because we all have a duty to remember our seniors who helped us to build the Quebec we have today and they deserve some peace at this stage in their lives.”
Staying in community
Skeete said he wanted to emphasize that a partnership made it possible to undertake the project. “Thanks to Les Habitations Le Repère, people who are aging will be able to continue living in their community in Laval near other persons who are important to them,” he said. “This new building will also have the advantage of being near services while being accessible by public transit.”
Danae Savides, president of the Habitations Le Repère board of directors, said: “We are seeing, thanks to support from the community, the City of Laval, and the Société d’habitation du Québec, this dream taking shape on which we have been working a long time – to offer a roof over their heads and support services to seniors citizens. Already hundreds of persons have registered on the waiting list.” According to Savides, more than 500 people have expressed interest in coming to live at 3270 Saint-Elzéar.
An experienced builder
Gestions Ges-Cam, which is building the project, has vast experience in the construction of concrete high-rise senior citizens residences since the 1980s. In addition to building them, the company also owns and operates seniors residences with a total of around 1,000 housing units.
“We’ve built around 2,000 units since the 80s,” Charlie Migliara, president of the company, said in an interview with The Laval News. “The people we worked with on this were really amazing. We had fun meeting with them every month while working on it. The energy has been really great: everything has come together and we’ve been blessed.”