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Duranceau defends the financing of affordable housing for seniors with Luc Maurice

Photo: Francis Vachon Le Devoir In the eyes of the Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, not only is Unitaînés a good project, but it should be imitated.

Isabelle Porter in Quebec

Posted at 3:47 p.m. Updated at 4:28 p.m.

  • Quebec

The decision of the Legault government to invest $117 million in the philanthropic housing project for seniors of the founder of the Maurice group worries the Parti Québécois because it was chosen outside of calls from usual projects.

But the Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, defends it tooth and nail and even promises to support others of the same kind.

During the study of appropriations on Thursday, the MP for Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Joël Arseneau, underlined that the “Unitaînés” project had been chosen in a “discretionary” manner by the government while the other organizations which submit housing projects social must undergo a tight selection process.

He sees it as a new “parallel path for setting up projects” and deplores that it is “not supervised” like the others.

Unitains is the name of an NPO created by Luc Maurice, the founder of the group of private residences for seniors of the same name. The latter submitted a project aimed at building 1,000 affordable housing units for low-income seniors. Quebec and Ottawa have decided to jointly invest $235 million in the adventure.

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The businessman committed to building within 24 months, at a low cost, while assuming any risk of cost overruns. Once erected, the buildings must be transferred to the local housing offices of the towns where they will be located.

The project is further considered philanthropic because Mr. Maurice plans to donate $5 million overall.

Un project to imitate, said Duranceau

Thursday, Ms. Duranceau explained that the project was authorized by decree and that it had been financed from the envelope of 1, $8 billion released by Quebec and Ottawa to build housing in recent months. In his eyes, not only is Unitains a good project, but it should be imitated. It’s a “very special recipe that we believe in,” she said. “Our risk is managed. »

« We must add up in housing at the moment, stop being confined to the status quo and dogmatism on the types of programs. So much the better if there are several models! » she also mentioned.

“Everyone who comes with new ways of doing things who has recognized experience, impeccable governance, a solid financial balance sheet, the door is open for me. »

Like the Parti Québécois, the liberal opposition wanted to know on Thursday why the government had subsidized Unitains beyond the 85% support ceiling imposed on other projects. The minister replied that she could do it because the cost of building housing was lower.

Therefore, she thinks she does not have to give any additional money. rent (PSL) to future tenants. “I had no reason to give a higher subsidy because I won't have any PSL to give,” she replied to Liberal MP Virginie Dufour.

The minister must also announce the construction of one of the ten Unitaînés buildings in Drummondville on April 29. A first announcement has already taken place in Shawinigan. The complex should eventually be available in ten different cities. Other projects are under development in Montreal, Quebec and Granby in particular.

In Quebec, a community organization active in social housing recently criticized the City for having granted to Unitains land that he had reserved for another housing project, reported Radio-Canada.

Questioned on this, Minister Duranceau said she was not participating choice of land.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116