• John Jantak

St. Lazare homeowners with foundation problems to receive financial aid


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

(Left to right) St. Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo, Provincial MNAs Lucie Charlebois (Soulanges) and Marie-Claude Nichols (Vaudreuil), MRC Prefect and Très St. Rédempteur Mayor Jean Lalonde, and St. Zotique Mayor Yvon Chaisson at a press conference this week where Charlebois announced a $1.85 million provincial subsidy to help Montérégie homeowners with foundation problems.

Residents with faulty foundations will be able to qualify for financial assistance after the provincial government announced it will provide $1.85 million in funds to residents throughout the Montérégie region. Details were provided during a press conference at the St. Lazare community centre on August 28.

The announcement was made by provincial MNAs Lucie Charlebois (Soulanges) and Marie-Claude Nichols (Vaudreuil), MRC Prefect and Très St. Rédempteur Mayor Jean Lalonde, St. Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo and St. Zotique Mayor Yvon Chaisson.

Charlebois said the aid is being provided to reassure affected homeowners that the government is aware of the issue and is committed to helping affected residents. “This will give our fellow citizens in the Montérégie a good boost so that they can maintain their residences in good condition. This is excellent news that will contribute to the dynamism in the region,” she said.

In a press release issued by the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ), the additional funding is being implemented as part of the last provincial budget to enhance the budget of the SHQ’s Programme RénoRégion (PRR) which is currently at $20 million.

For St. Lazare residents, the amount pegged for the community by the province is $171,000, an amount that will be matched by the town, for a total of $342,000, said Grimaudo. “We are delighted with this announcement,” he added.

“Over the last few years, several citizens have asked us for help in obtaining financial assistance to repair cracked foundations caused by land subsidence. The combined contribution by both levels of government will help reduce the amount that homeowners with cracked foundations will have to pay out of pocket,” said Grimaudo.

Some of the town’s residents have regularly raised the issue at council meetings, especially regarding the added financial burden they’ve had to personally absorb to have their foundations stabilized, including Joanne Ackland who spent about $50,000 last year. While she’s glad financial aid will finally be forthcoming, she declined further comment until all the details are made public.

Before any funds become available, the town will have to determine the criteria under which affected residents can apply and then adopt a by-law at an upcoming council meeting which would hopefully be done at the council meeting before the upcoming municipal election in November, said Grimaudo.

“I cannot make any promises but it would be great to have it adopted sooner rather than later, Grimaudo told Your Local Journal. “It will then have to be sent to the provincial government who will tell us whether our regulation is acceptable or not. They will then send it back to us and we will adopt it in council.

“This has been an ongoing file,” Grimaudo added. “It’s not something we could or would do without the help of the provincial government because we cannot expect all the town’s taxpayers to foot the whole bill for a small percentage of homes in this situation. But we’re very sympathetic and always understood their plight. That’s we immediately applied for the subsidy when we found out about it in May.”

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