Co-op collapse may mean contractors lose $1.1M owed
Eleven construction companies owed more than $1 million for work at a North End housing co-op are in jeopardy of not getting paid now that the co-op has collapsed.
The companies had settled on a tentative deal with the North End United Housing Co-op to accept half of the $1.1 million they were owed for renovations carried out on the co-op's four buildings.
The housing co-op only had $200,000 to pay them. They will now go into receivership.
With the co-op going into receivership, it may mean the contractors won't get any of the money they are owed.
Tuesday, members of the North End United Housing Co-op voted against the plan to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay off the contractors.
Wade MacAulay operates Sanmac Construction and is owed $92,000.
"I did have seven employees but I'm down to just myself now because they owe me close to a hundred grand and it's been going on two and a half years," MacAulay said. "It means I can't take on a lot of big projects right now."
Joe MacLeod, owner of Reliable Rooter Plumbing and Heating, is owed $290,000.
"What bothers me the most is — I hope that the Department of Community Services, which they should know, and the judge I hope that he sees — this is not cost overruns, this is a contract that I had. I had a contract and I fulfilled the contract and I didn't get paid," MacLeod said.
The court case will continue on Tuesday.
The situation is also causing concern for the people who live in the co-op buildings. In the short term they expect their rent will go way up.
"I think it's going to be a financial hardship on a lot of people," said tenant Brian Gerrard. "(There are) a lot of families here."
Peter Smith, project manager for Eagle Project Management, said contractors will continue to fight for what they are owed.
"We had approvals in the budgets and the schedules, there's no reason why we're not being paid a hundred per cent," Smith said, "Especially since... DCS was fully aware of the problems in the program, even back in June and July of 2010. I just don't understand why this hasn't been settled."