In the midst of a housing crisis, there are currently around 100 empty social housing units at the Office municipal d’habitation de Sherbrooke, due to a lack of staff to maintain them.
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This is what the member for Sherbrooke, Christine Labrie, denounced on Wednesday morning in the blue room during question period.
“We have a hundred vacant social housing units in Sherbrooke because we are not able to maintain them. I refuse to accept that. Six people to maintain 1700 homes, do you think that is reasonable? They are not even able to have an electrician or a plumber on their team with the amount they receive in funding, ”lamented the member for Quebec solidaire.
Ms. Labrie is calling for emergency financial assistance as well as increased funding for OMH payroll for maintenance.
In response to her colleague's question, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Andrée Laforest, did not address the issue of staff shortages.
However, she replied that funding has been increased recently. “When you say that OMHs do not have the means, we have just invested $150 million to adjust the costs of construction materials in all housing office projects,” recalled the minister.
There are currently 1,300 households on a waiting list to access social housing in Sherbrooke. “Not only does Ms. Labrie’s intervention correspond to reality, but she expresses a need that we have,” comments the president of the OMH of Sherbrooke, Raïs Kibonge.
The latter indicates that usually 60 to 70 dwellings per year are to be renovated. This year, a total of 102 find themselves in this situation.
“We have a small team and it is clear that if we had funding to hire more workers, we could speed up the pace and make more housing available on July 1,” he says.