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Church Turned into Affordable Housing

eglise st. josephSHERBROOKE: Families and people living alone in Sherbrooke will soon have access to 16 new residences created within the framework of the program AccèsLogis Québec de la Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ). Serge Cardin, MP for Sherbrooke, confirmed progress on the development of l’Habitation Mont-Bellevue today, after visiting the building site, in the Belvedere sector of Sherbrooke.

The new residences will be created in the former l’église Saint-Joseph (closed now for two years), to be completely renovated thanks to an investment of almost $2.1 M. The government of Quebec, via the SHQ, has invested $880,000 in this transformation, in addition to guaranteeing the mortgage loan granted to Le Parallèle de l’habitation sociale. The total contribution invested locally amounts to some $476,000, of which more than $250,000 comes from la Ville de Sherbrooke. 

“What a beautiful way to breathe new life into this sacred venue! This abandoned structure will soon be reanimated and will provide suitable and low-cost lodging to people in need. Our government is proud to have contributed to this transformation”, declared MP Serge Cardin, on behalf of Sylvain Gaudreault - Minister des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire, ministre des Transports et ministre responsable de la SHQ.

In order to support the concept of accessible housing for low income households, this project will also receive additional financial assistance of more than $137,000, under the terms of la Programme de supplément au loyer (Rental Subsides Program). This amount (90% furnished by the SHQ and 10% by la Ville de Sherbrooke) will make it possible for half of the tenants of l’Habitation Mont-Bellevue to spend only 25% of their income on housing.

“Transforming this church into accessible housing will give it new life and reestablish its presence within this community. It is a great privilege for Le Parallèle de l’habitation sociale to contribute to the preservation of this building, in addition to making it possible for 16 households to find quality, stable and accessible housing”, affirmed Jean-Guy Demers, chairman of the board for Le Parallèle de l’habitation sociale.

This restoration/renovation project is viewed as important not only because it gives back this important building back to the community that has supported it for many years but also because it brings work and renewed energy into this sector of Sherbrooke.

MP Serge Cardin The role of the SHQ is to facilitate citizens’ access to adequate housing conditions. This type of housing is designed to meet a multitude of challenges and needs of the Quebec population. Whether it is to preserve the health of families and seniors, in the fight against poverty, social exclusion and homelessness or revitalizing neighborhoods and regions, la Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ) is responsible for improving the quality of life in 230,000 households each year. The SHQ also supports the creation of jobs and economical development throughout the regions of Quebec. It is for this reason that the Quebec government, in its recent budget, announced a budgetary envelope of $231M toward the creation of 3,000 affordable housing units over the next few years.

To obtain more information on these programs and services offered by the SHQ, consult www.habitation.gouv.qc.ca. You will also be able to view ‘Espace Habitat’, a new web magazine which features, in particular, the impact that SHQ programs have on Quebec as a whole. 

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