Glitches could delay the construction of the Maison des Apprentis, in Gatineau

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Glitches could delay the construction of the Maison des Apprentis, in Gatineau

The land on which the Les Apprentis building should be built.

Two months before the start of construction of the Maison des Apprentis, new regulations from the Ministry of the Environment thwart the plans of the organization. It could even lose its main grant.

The House of Apprentices will be a little longer. This unique project combining 25 housing units for autonomous people living with an intellectual disability and the day center of the Les Apprentis organization has lost significant support.

We fell on our backs, says Robert H. Parent, chairman of the board of directors of Les Apprentis. The project had received all the authorizations and we were preparing to submit the final plans in mid-July.

The organization is one of the development projects that will be suspended until the city of Gatineau can bring its sewer systems up to standard.

The Municipality is forced to replace its sanitary and storm sewer system before even authorizing a construction project in the sectors covered by the regulations of the Ministry of the Environment. This is the case of 317 Maloney Boulevard East, the land on which the house is to be built.

It delays the project, says Mr. Parent. For us, it's catastrophic because there are subsidies attached to this project.

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The organization received $1.3 million from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), but this grant expires in March 2023, thus compromising the start of the work.

“This is quite a challenge that the City and the Ministry of the Environment have imposed on us. »

— Robert H. Parent, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Les Apprentis

On September 21, we were supposed to have a groundbreaking ceremony so that residents return in July, next year, underlines Mr. Parent. After three years of work, the July deadline now seems unattainable.

A meeting is scheduled for next week with the chairman of the Land Development and Housing Commission, Daniel Champagne.

We know that all forms of delays increase costs significantly and I am not sure that the organization has all the flexibility necessary to assume these costs, argues M .Champagne.

The President of the Commission assures that he will take steps to ensure that the subsidy is maintained beyond the expiry date. He also hopes to find additional financial assistance to offset the impact of these new policies.

I have reason to believe that the City will assume all financial responsibilities for the facilities that are necessary for this project, adds- he, optimistic.

Chapleau MP Mathieu Lévesque has supported the project from the very beginning. The latter claims to have contacted other MPs and ministers to start a discussion in search of solutions.

“I continue the discussions. Me, I want it to happen and I'm going to do everything for this project to take root. »

— Mathieu Lévesque, MNA for Chapleau

The City of Gatineau is unable to indicate how many construction projects could be impacted by this new constraint. An intervention plan must be submitted in the fall.

With information from Nathalie Tremblay

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