A group of Pierrefonds residents say they’re going to be out on the street in the middle of winter after their apartment building was sold to expand the Cloverdale Village housing co-op.
“This is going to be a disaster, but what can we do? We’re stuck here. If we had choices, we wouldn’t be here. It’s as simple as that,” said Barbra Hudson, who moved into the Anthony Street building in 2012.
Hudson said she received a notice of the temporary evictions on Nov. 4
In a letter dated Oct. 31, the director of Cloverdale advised residents of the building that major repairs would be made to the building and it would become part of the coop after those renovations were made.
The letter says the residents must leave the building during the work, which is scheduled to start in February and continue for eight months.
According to that letter, the co-op is offering residents temporary accommodations based on availability. They are also offering residents financial compensation to cover the cost of moving and cutting their services.
However, anyone in a studio apartment will have to find a new place permanently because those units won’t be available after the renovations.
Anyone moving back to the building after the renovations would need to become part of the cooperative and pay rent at the rate approved by the Société d'habitation du Québec.
Hudson said moving to Cloverdale, even on a temporary basis, isn’t an option for her and many of her neighbours.
She cited concerns about safety and maintenance in the co-op.
“Basically, we’re the last barrier between Cloverdale and the rest of Pierrefonds.”
Permits not yet issued
A spokesperson for the borough, Johanne Palladini, told CBC Cloverdale has done everything required since purchasing the building.
However, the co-op has not yet applied for renovation permits with the municipality. If their plans don’t conform with local bylaws, those permits could be refused.
Cloverdale officials did not respond to a request for an interview.
Hudson said Cloverdale held a meeting last week with affected tenants, but not much was resolved.
The residents were offered one month’s rent as part of their relocation package, but it doesn’t go far enough, Hudson said.
She said it will be extremely difficult for many of the residents, some of whom have physical or mental impairments, to find new housing in such a short time period.
“Putting us out like this, it’s brutal,” she said.
“The problem in Quebec is especially acute because rental day is July. You can’t rent a place in the middle of winter. Nobody is going to want to rent a place from February to February. It’s insane.”