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Buffer zone: one financial aid program submitted in June

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Participants were able to express themselves during workshops on five different hypotheses, depending on whether they are owners or tenants.

  • Martin Guindon (View profile)Martin Guindon

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Citizens targeted by the creation of the future buffer zone near the Horne Foundry participated in a consultation in Rouyn-Noranda on Saturday. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is collecting their comments and concerns with a view to developing the financial assistance program that it wishes to submit for approval next June.

More than 80 residential owners and tenants were able to express their views on what should be included in the financial assistance program intended to support them when they change their place of residence.

It helps us in our reflection, indeed, to consult the people who are on the front lines. It is for them that we are making the program, so it is important to ensure that we cover all aspects.

A quote from Guylaine Marcoux, under -Assistant Minister

The participants were able to express their views in particular on the ways in which the different aspects of the future program could be articulated. Who will be eligible for various forms of assistance? How often will the aid be paid? How will compensation be calculated?

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Guylaine Marcoux, assistant deputy minister for coordination of government actions in the matter from the Horne Foundry.

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Over the coming weeks, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will continue discussions with smaller groups of owners and tenants in order to deepen reflection on certain often more technical aspects.

The objective is to submit a program at the beginning of June so that it can be approved at the end of the same month.

That’s what we’re aiming for, yes. It's important to be quick because there are people waiting for this program to make decisions. There are some who have already left the area, then they are waiting to see how much they will receive. So, it's important to do things well, to consult people well and to come up with a program, insists Guylaine Marcoux, assistant deputy minister for the coordination of government actions in the Horne Foundry file. .

This consultation of all citizens in the sector has been requested since last fall by several groups, especially since it was not initially planned.

The compensation program does not exist, it is under development. The more we work on the file, the more we see that there is a wide variety of situations. So, we need to listen carefully to people explaining their needs in order to respond to them as best as possible. And we, at the City of Rouyn-Noranda, will also have to listen if we want to complement what will be offered by the government, explains Sylvianne Legault, community relations coordinator at the City of Rouyn-Noranda. /p>Open in full screen mode

Sylvianne Legault, community relations coordinator at the City of Rouyn-Noranda.

Marie-Ève ​​Duclos, spokesperson for the owners' committee, views this consultation favorably. She recalls that the owners and tenants went out last summer to discuss the process.

I'm glad there are a lot of people, because I always trust collective intelligence. The more we think about a question, the more ideas we can have and then develop further, believes Ms. Duclos, who would still have liked the consultation to go in more depth.

A tenant for 22 years in the targeted area, Marjolaine Bizier finds it important that her voice is heard.

I'm not interested in going to pay for housing with the help they gave me just to a year. It wouldn't make any sense. Even two years doesn't make sense, and three years doesn't make sense either.

A quote from Marjolaine Bizier, tenant

She trusts the process, but she is starting to find the wait very long.

We are in the absolute unknown. That's a lot to think about. It’s sure that sometimes there’s anxiety that gets involved and everything. As they say in good Quebecois, you no longer know which foot to dance on. In any case, we will let time take its course, we have no choice. I hope it turns out for the best. In any case, it can't be worse than it is, underlines Ms. Bizier.

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Marjolaine Bizier, tenant in the area targeted by the creation of the future buffer zone.

Marc-André Larose, community organizer at the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Tenants Association (ALOCAT), recognizes that the whole question of allowances and compensation for the difference in rent raises a lot of concern among residents. tenants, especially those with limited means.

If, for example, the program lasts five or seven years, people who are not eligible for the social housing program will not have an increase in income. At the end of this program, we really fear that people will be poorly housed or perhaps even that they will swell the ranks of homelessness. This is what we want to avoid at all costs. It is this vagueness which is very anxiety-inducing, explains Marc-André Larose.

Both the Ministry and the City also remind tenants in the sector that it is not too late to communicate with these two authorities to make their needs known.

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