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Women’s shelters are too expensive, according to Duranceau

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Shelter projects for victims of violence are too expensive, says the Minister responsible for Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau.

Isabelle Porter in Quebec

March 14, 2024

  • Quebec

At $800,000 a door and beyond, projects for shelters for victims of violence are blocked by the government because they cost too much, says the Minister responsible for Housing , France-Élaine Duranceau.

“There are too many projects coming out at costs that are truly excessive,” argues the minister. Some projects submitted to the government cost the equivalent of $900,000, or even $1 million per unit, she says.

Thursday morning, the Legault government was accused of having broken the promise it had made in the wake of the wave of feminicides of 2021, namely to increase the number of accommodation places.

“Quebec has already had four feminicides since the start of the year. Is it going to take another woman killed at the hands of her partner for this file to move up on the pile of priorities ?” launched Maud Pontel, general coordinator of the MH2 Alliance, during a briefing press conference in parliament.

Comparison with the homes of the elderly

According to the network, projects equivalent to 630 places are currently blocked due to lack of agreement with the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ).

Services are approaching breaking point, with 45% of requests being refused due to lack of available places.

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Questioned about costs, the network representatives claim that it is normal for these accommodations to be more expensive. “We have equipment that we don’t have in regular social housing,” says Louise Riendeau, from the Group of houses for women victims of domestic violence. “It’s as if we were asking a general hospital to have the same budget as a CHSLD,” she adds.

For comparison, the average cost of rooms in some seniors' homes would be between $800,000 and $1 million.

Questioned about this on Thursday, Ms. Pontel replied that the question was precisely “the price” to pay “to save the lives of women and children who are at risk of homicide.”

Questioned in turn about the price of a life, Minister Duranceau replied Thursday that “that was not the question.” She said she gave the SHQ the mandate to examine the file “from another angle” in order to find a solution.

Her colleague responsible for the Status of Women, Martine Biron, also thinks that certain projects are too expensive. “Everyone has to make an effort, and there is a way to lower costs,” she told Devoir. However, she warns that the SHQ will have to act quickly in the matter. “I’m still going to let her work, but the message I sent is that we’re not on break here. »

With Marie-Michèle Sioui

Need help ?

If you are a victim of sexual violence, you can contact a Sexual Assault Support Center (CALACS) near you, or call Info -sexual violence help at 1 888 933-9007. Click here to see the list.

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