Letter to the editor, Jan. 16, 2020
I have been the general manager of Manoir Cavagnal since February, 1998. For those who are new to Hudson it was built in 1978 and owned by five Legions. We are not-for-profit and our purpose is to give veterans, their families, and moderate to lower income seniors an affordable place to call home.
Being able to live in beautiful Hudson, walking distance to all services and amenities, in a nice apartment in a well-maintained building at a low rent was, of course, the goal of those dedicated veterans who got this project running.
Our building is now 42 years old and the challenges to keep this vision and promise alive is getting more difficult as repairs become more expensive, utilities, materials, manpower, taxes, and everything goes up in price.
Our rents include heating, electricity, hot water and Videotron cable television. Our 3 ½ apartments are $707 per month. We have managed to keep the rents low thanks to prudent budgeting, wonderful volunteers (tenants and outsiders), and dedicated staff who have no problem going beyond their duties or paid hours.
For the last three years I have been asking council members to revisit our taxation regarding water and sewer rates.
We are taxed as residential; therefore our rate for water and sewer is the same as a house (any size, any number of bedrooms, bathroom or inhabitants) times 88 apartments (doors). For example last year we paid $64,525.42 in taxes of which $27,434.88 was only for water and sewer. Anyone would agree that one small apartment with mainly one senior living there does not use either services in the same amount as a house. We have a water meter (since March, 2011) and are able to track consumption and we use approximately 30 per cent of what Quebec measures per household.
I have been asking for the last three years that those two services be reduced to one charge for every two apartments (44). I believe it’s more than fair. Council has been promising to look into it. Again this year I have sent all the most recent information and yet it falls on deaf ears.
To make matters even worse 2020 taxation shows an increase of sewer tax from $172.42 per door to $250 giving the Manoir a direct hit of $6,800. Just on that one service.
Our founders would be very disappointed. I am very disappointed that this council has so little understanding that not every pensioner can afford huge rents – many receive Federal and Provincial pension only. The Manoir Cavagnal’s residents occupy a huge place in Hudson. They shop locally, frequent local restaurants, and attend local events.
If you agree that our tenants should pay for what they use and not be bundled with all the homes in Hudson, maybe to can reach out to your councillor and explain them what fairness means.
Thank you for your time.
Nicole Durand, General Manager