Montreal seniors fear new building owner is pushing them out of their homes

Click to play video: 'Montreal seniors speak out over rent hikes and cuts to much-needed services'
Montreal seniors speak out over rent hikes and cuts to much-needed services
WATCH: Some very difficult decisions are bearing down on senior citizens living in a private Montreal nursing home. They're being given a choice to either stay in the residence and face a three percent rent increase plus a cut in services or move out. It's not an easy decision for elderly people living on a fixed income, and as Tim Sargeant reports, many are furious and are now planning to fight back – Feb 4, 2022

Some tough decisions have to be made by senior citizens living in the Mont-Carmel Residence on René-Lévesque Boulevard East in the coming weeks.

The building’s new owner is planning to convert the senior’s home into private apartments for all age groups.

Monthly rent dues for tenants will increase by three per cent and services such as 24/7 nursing care, an around-the-clock reception office and a beauty salon will close.

Existing residents willing to pay more for less are allowed to stay. If not, they will be forced to move out by July 31st.

“This is inhuman, absolutely,” 83 year-old Constance Vaudrin said Friday morning.

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The resident, who has been living in the senior’s home for almost five years, says she loves the place and the services provided.

Vaudrin says she’s infuriated by the new owner who plans to increase rent while removing services. She received a letter, as did all the other residents — almost 200 of them — on Jan. 31.

“I’m carrying all the frustrations and anger of so many people here,” Vaudrin said.

A representative for the building’s new owner told Global News that the three percent rent increase is in line with industry average for apartments and no one is being forced to leave.

But that is not sitting well with some of the senior tenants.

“This is not really human to do that for us. So, I’m hoping the government will be able to do something for us,” Laurent Dubé, another senior who lives in the building, said.

In an email to Global News, Jean-Charles Del Duchetto, the press attachée for the Minister of Housing and Senior Citizens, writes, “For seniors who wish to stay in the residence, the CIUSSS ( centres intégrés de santé et de services sociaux) will continue to offer home care and support services to people whose health requires it…Residents can also challenge their rent increase…For seniors who wish to move, the CIUSSS will offer support to help them find another residence that suits their needs.”

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The seniors are teaming up with local MNA Manon Massé, (Quebec Solidaire, Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques) to consider a legal challenge to stop the rent from increasing and services being cut.

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