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Montreal opposition seeks to curb conversion of private senior housing

Ensemble Montreal leader Aref Salem says the moratorium will give the state government time to brainstorm ways to sustain RPA.

After Résidence Mont-Carmel on Réne-Lévesque Blvd., which comprises more than 200 units, was sold to a real-estate investor last year, residents were advised it would change vocations this summer. Several have contested the change in court.
Last year after Résidence Mont-Carmel on Réne-Lévesque Blvd. , residents of more than 200 homes sold to property investors have been informed they will be changing jobs this summer. Several people have challenged the change in court. Photo by Pierre Obendrauf /Montreal Gazette

Official opposition at City Hall wants to draw attention to the issue Private senior housing in Montreal, which believes it is involved, is accelerating the conversion to regular rental properties.

At the city council meeting this month, the Ensemble Montréal will introduce a motion to suspend such conversions for one year. Party leader Aref Salem said the state government is currently studying the issue of RPA certification, but hopes to be able to establish strict criteria under which conversions are allowed. 31}. semester.

"With these standards, it won't be easy for at least some investors to [flip the building over] and make quick money in the short term," Salem said.

The motion highlights how in recent years landlords in Montreal and Quebec have turned RPAs into regular rentals to increase profits and force older people to move. In addition to raising rents, these moves could affect the health of older people and the availability of adequate housing.

"At some point we talked about what we could do as a council," Salem said. “How can we allow older people to stay and receive the services they used to receive? That is why we are proposing this motion.”

Mayor Valérie Plante Spokesperson Marikym Gaudreault said in a statement that the opposition's proposal would be discussed at the next city council meeting, adding that "the situation of Montreal's elderly population is a priority."

"We are working hard to ensure that their rights are better represented in the big cities," the statement said. “We know there are many faces to Montreal's affordability crisis, which is why we continue to prioritize tenant protection in our housing policy.”

According to Ensemble Montréal. In 2021, eight RPAs in Montreal have closed or changed jobs, and another four have announced a change of jobs in 2022. There are currently over 190 RPAs in Montreal, comprising over 26,600 rental units. At the same time, according to the Institut de la statistique du Québec, the number of elderly people in the city is increasing. Last year, her percentage of people over 65 in Montreal's populationwas 17.1, a figure he could increase to 20% by 2041.

In Quebec, the motion further stated that last year more than 200,000 people received independent living support, especially through her RPA, and this figure is expected to increase by 2040. He said it could double by the year.

"The moratorium helps the government think about what they can do to keep these private homes in their current state," Salem said.

Downtown Marie-Paul Lebel, a resident of Résidence Montcalmel and a member of the commission actively working on its preservation, said she felt the Ensemble Montreal's move was "very positive".

"It brings together all the issues of our own fight, both judicial and political, in one," she said. After 

René-Levesque Blvd. More than 200 buildings were sold to property investors late last year, and residents were told they would change jobs in the summer. Several people have challenged the change, taking it to court over a clause in the deed of sale that the building must remain in her RPA.

A judge of the High Court of Quebec recently orderedowner Henry Zabrieff to keep his home service until another court date in September. ordered to do so. By the court or by the Tribunal administratif du logement.

"It's very justified," LeBell said of the motion. "It includes the issue of the elderly. This is a great job and touches on the political dimension of the issue of the elderly and RPA." For Executive Director Marc Fortin, Quebec's problems with RPA are serious and will not be resolved by a moratorium.

"People who sold some homes...because they couldn't do it anymore," he said. “We are currently working hard with the government to find a solution to avoid the closure. Rather than a moratorium that would halt conversions, people would rather stop investing and there would be no new housing for seniors. , and no new RPA.”

Fortin said 250 homes in Quebec have closed in the past 18 months. He cites three reasons for this situation. Finances, staffing, and increasingly stringent regulations.

Despite housing differences, Fortin said banks were holding back on his RPA investments after witnessing the mismanagement of his CHSLD during the pandemic, and insurance He said costs have risen dramatically.

Pandemic incentives to attract nurses and nurses to the public sector have also pulled many out of the private sector, Fortin added.

"We can't raise our income, we can't raise our rent, so we can't pay the same salary as the people," he said.

A third problem, according to Fortin, is that RPA management has become much more complex due to increased government regulation.

As a result, RPA owners are struggling to stay afloat and are choosing to sell before losing everything, he said. rice field. Real estate investors are just taking advantage of this situation.

"Man who bought (Mon Carmel), we are in the land of the free," said Fortin. “He bought it and wants to do something else with it.

Local government housing ministers did not respond to the Montreal Gazette's request in time for publication.

Zavriyev said his intention was not to evict the population.

"We went to see them all and explained that we didn't want them to leave," he said. “I thought it was justified, considering my previous landlord was renting at probably half the market price, so I raised my rent by about 3%. 

Zavriyev said that through a service that costs about $25 a month, the It said it provided residents with a call button and the option to maintain services such as emergency nurses.

Mr Lebel said he was never informed of the offer, but even if he had known, residents had already paid for these services through existing leases. 105}

  1. A caregiver in a long-term care residence.

    Quebec's privately run senior housing is disappearing, warns group

  2. Seniors in private retirement homes paid full rent through the pandemic even though the services included in their leases, such as swimming pools, were shut down.

    Groups are seeking reimbursement for seniors deprived of services during the pandemic.

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