Signing the agreement to consolidate took place in the presence of Jonathan Allen (MHB Ormstown), Suzanne Yelle Blair (Franklin), Donald Bourdeau (Saint-Chrysostome), Denis St-Cyr (Huntingdon), Alain Beaulieu and Johanne Loiselle (Howick).
Representatives from the five Municipal Housing Bureaus in the Haut-Saint-Laurent officially initialled a merger agreement during a short ceremony held on Thursday, October 5.
The agreement affects the MHBs of Huntingdon, Ormstown, Franklin, Saint-Chrysostome and Howick (Howick also serves the municipality of Très-Saint-Sacrement). These bureaus oversee management of 132 low-rent units (HLM) dispersed over 5 buildings, 4 rental units subsidized by the programme de supplément au loyer (PSL) and 11 from the Accès Logis (ACL) program.
It was at the request of the Société d’Habitation du Québec that representatives of these organizations initiated discussions on merging in December 2016, in accordance with the Quebec Government's wish to optimize management of housing services.
"The objective of this merger is to allow each MHB to have one full time employee providing services rather than several employees working 15 to 20 hours per week. Ultimately, both tenants and municipal service workers will benefit because they will have access to one resource person for better services," related Alain Beaulieu.
The MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent organized the various meetings that led to this consolidation by creating a coordinating committee comprised of 12 members to represent the municipalities and MHBs involved; a process that required a spirit of openness and trust on the part of each participant.
The new Municipal Housing Bureau for the Haut-Saint-Laurent will officially begin operation on January 1, 2018.
Translated by Cathleen Johnston