By Kevin Woodhouse
With a recent announcement by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to end the subsidized funding for the Village Cloverdale Housing Cooperative in October of next year, the Pierrefonds-Roxboro council is asking the government agency to reverse its decision.
The cooperative currently shelters about 3,000 residents, almost half of whom make less than $20,000 per year, a number that places the earner in the low income range. According to Pierrefonds-Roxboro statistics, “three per cent of the families are single-parent families, 57 per cent of the tenants spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing and at least 27 per cent of the families have more than three children.”
For Mayor Dimitros Jim Beis, the subsidy cuts will have a direct effect on at least 1,000 current residents. “There will be major repercussions and consequences for the residents if the subsidy is cut,” Beis told The Suburban.
Rather than drop the sudden announcement that the economic subsidy will be cut next year since “this puts people in a dangerous situation, this can only have a negative impact since for some families in Cloverdale, up to ten family members can be living in the same apartment,” said the mayor.
If the program absolutely cannot be sustained any longer, Beis would have preferred getting the news three to five years ago so that the tenants could have planned accordingly.
Currently, more than 250 residents receive a break from CMHC out of the total 766 apartments. The subsidy given by the provincial body for last year totaled $960,000.
According to CMHC spokesperson Karine Leblanc, the reason for the discontinuation of the cooperative’s subsidy is that it has come to the end of its mandate, one that lasted more than a decade.
“The Village Cloverdale Housing Cooperative, one of the largest cooperatives in Quebec, is the perfect example of a multicultural community united for the well-being of the residents in a healthy living environment,” noted Beis. “For many years, the Borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro, along with various community organizations, has collaborated with the cooperative’s administration to support deprived families, to develop our youth talents and to elaborate promising projects. We are delighted with the positive impact of actions taken during all these years and the work must go on. The end of the subsidy given by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will endanger not only the future of our citizens but also the Borough efforts in term of social development.”
As for what comes next for Cloverdale, Leblanc told The Suburban that the CMHC is aware of the situation and will be meeting shortly to discuss further funding for the cooperative.
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