Following a Statement of Offence confirming many defects to be corrected in her apartment building, the owner asked for and obtained a municipal subsidy of $115,200.00 under the Major Residential Renovation Program: a first payment of $57,600.00 was forwarded to her, shortly afterwards.

This subsidy was subject to many conditions, one of which was that there would be limits to the rents that could be charged to tenants, after the renovations. The citizen committed to respect all of these conditions, in writing and in a notarized document.

When she was made aware of the maximum rents she was authorized to charge, however, the citizen objected, finding them too low. She asked Ville de Montréal to convert her initial subsidy into a subsidy for minor repairs, which was denied.

The authorized amounts of rents were established in accordance with the By-law concerning contributions for residential renovation and demolition-reconstruction. The provisions therein, with regard to future rents, are to ensure that the apartments remain affordable and that prior tenants are not unduly penalized, as a result of the renovations.

In regards to the City’s refusal to change the nature of the subsidy, the Ombudsman investigated and concluded that Ville de Montréal decision was justified. The concerned renovations were definitely not minor repairs and, moreover, no renovation subsidies for minor repairs had been granted, since March 2005, due to a lack of funds in the program.

Although the citizen had already waived her right to her grant for major works, we obtained, from the Service de la mise en valeur du territoire et du patrimoine, that she could keep this subsidy, providing she conforms with the conditions of the program, including the calculation of rents. If she accepted, the citizen would not have to reimburse the $57,600.00 already received and she would obtain a second such payment. A delay was granted to the owner to confirm her final decision.

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