Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Mattawa wants to sell its affordable housing complex

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The Rosemount Valley Suites rental complex was previously a long-term care home. (Archive photo)

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Mattawa wants to sell its complex of 30 affordable housing units reserved for seniors, Rosemount Valley Suites, as soon as possible, because the burden of repaying the debt contracted with the bank weighs heavily on the Municipality.

Municipal authorities indicate that the new buyer will benefit from this project, because it could keep the apartments affordable, but also add others at the current price.

There is a dire need for housing, the project is in good faith. The only thing is that money is a little lacking. It handcuffs us a little, because we would also like to expand our city, explains the mayor of Mattawa, Raymond Bélanger.

The building was built on the backs of taxpayers. And I believe that we must free this burden from the world that pays taxes.

A quote from Raymond Bélanger, mayor of Mattawa

It was in 2019 that the City purchased the building that housed the Algonquin long-term care home with its 72 beds to transform them into 30 apartments.

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The beds were transferred to a new building built as an annex to the Mattawa hospital.

The Municipality then took out a loan of 5, 6 million dollars to carry out these renovations.

The Municipality had purchased the property without having a defined plan, admits the current mayor, who was director in 2019 general and treasurer of Mattawa.

The City of Mattawa is not an expert in managing affordable housing for seniors. This is how we look for someone or an organization [capable of managing a project] like Rosemount Valley Suites, adds Paul Laperrière, the city's general manager.

After a slow start, Paul Laperrière is optimistic about finding a buyer for the real estate complex.

At first, people didn't show much interest [in buying the building], he says.

But I think it's because we hadn't taken any big steps [to let the public know] apart from a letter that we had sent to people or organizations that we thought were interested. But at the moment, there is a lot of interest.

A quote from Paul Laperrière, general manager and treasurer of Mattawa

The project remains a necessity in Mattawa. And the buyer will not lack customers, according to Raymond Bélanger.

The building is 100% filled. And then according to the latest news I had, we have a waiting list which would cover another 150%, confides the mayor.

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At the ;currently, the City pays a little more than $190,000 in interest per year, as Paul Laperrière explains.

It was last August that the municipal council decided that it was time to sell these homes. If he did not do this, it would be difficult for the Municipality to repay the debt.

At the moment, we are paying interest only . In June 2027, the term of the current debt will end, and there, we will have to renegotiate the terms of the day and this is where there is the risk for the City, the annual payments would be like 480,000 $ per year, notes Paul Laperrière.

With information from Francis Bouchard

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