New renovation program for affordable housing
The Affordable housing reno program offers subsidies to owners of buildings containing 6 or more dwelling units to encourage them to renovate their property to extend its usable life, improve quality of life for tenants and encourage ecological transitions.
The following information is a summary of the By-law concerning the support program for the renovations of multi-rental buildings [20-005]. Other conditions may apply.
Are you admissible?
Two major steps
Admissibility is determined in two steps. First the City will evaluate if the application is eligible, then, in a second step, determine if your building qualifies.
Your application will be deemed eligible if your building:
If eligibility criteria are respected, an application can be submitted for the building. Advisory: file review fees are applicable as soon as an application is submitted.
NOTE: Do not start the work before obtaining written confirmation that you can begin. Otherwise, you may lose your right to the subsidy.
To establish that your building qualifies for the program, municipal officials will inspect it using a uniform procedure and allocate a score of 1 (excellent condition) to 6 (very poor condition). Your building must have a score of 3 or 4 to qualify for the program. This means its condition is neither too good, nor too bad.
Housing cooperatives and non-profits (OSBL)
The same admissibility requirements apply, but the building may have more than 5 storeys. In addition, the building cannot be receiving ongoing operating financial support under a social housing program, aside from a rent supplement program.
For non-profits offering temporary housing for persons needing support or protection, the only admissibility criterion is the condition of the building.
These buildings must include 4 or more rooms, no matter the number of storeys. Requirements apply to the number of rooms instead of the number of dwelling units.
Affordable housing units
How many units must be affordable?
One third of the dwelling units must be affordable. For example, for a building with 6 dwelling units, at least 2 units must have affordable rents. For a building with 7, 8 or 9 dwelling units, at least 3 must have affordable rents.
What is an affordable rent?
An affordable rent is one that is lower than or equal to the rent amount presented in the Supplementary information document, according to the size of the unit. The City will verify the rent amount stated in the lease. If you do not have written leases, you must sign a lease with the tenants of the dwelling units that you want to present as affordable.
Condition of the building
If your application is judged to be eligible and you have paid the review fees (see Supplementary Information), the City will conduct an inspection of your building to evaluate its state of deterioration. Defects will be noted in a table which calculates the building deterioration rating on a scale of 1 to 6.
The components inspected are:
- Foundations and crawl space
- Envelope (including exterior cladding)
- Openings (doors, windows, etc.)
- Projections (balconies, exterior staircases, etc.)
- Heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC)
- Built-in and accessory furnishings (counters, cabinets, etc.)
- Interior construction
- Interior finishes (floors, walls, ceilings)
The program is flexible regarding types of work. Subsidies can be granted for three types of work: mandatory, recommended and optional.
NOTE: Be sure not to start the work before obtaining written confirmation that you can begin. Otherwise, you may lose your right to the subsidy.
- You must hire an architect to plan the work, and afterward to certify that work was done according to plans specifications. The City subsidizes 50% of fees related to professional services.
- You are responsible for obtaining any permit and authorization required prior to beginning the work.
- Your work must be executed by one or more contractors holding the appropriate licence, issued by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), which relates to the type of work to be done (e.g. the licence for a roofer is valid only for roofing work).
- Your work must conform to laws, regulations and by-laws in effect.
Other technical requirements are described in this document.
If your building presents one of the following situations, certain projects will be mandatory:
|If my building:
|Work you will be required to complete
has an oil heating system
I will have to replace it with an electrical system
has a lead water-service entry
I will have to replace the private portion of the water-service entry
presents health or safety risks (e.g.: missing railings, defective heating system, wall in danger of collapsing, etc.)
I must correct all infractions
is contaminated by mould
I must decontaminate it and correct the problem source
is infested by rats, mice, bedbugs, cockroaches
I must get them exterminated
During inspection of your building, the City will identify the components that merit renovation. You must choose from work included in this list.
- An example: the City indicates that the roof, plumbing and exterior wall are in bad condition. You can choose to renovate one or more of these elements, or all of them, to obtain a subsidy.
In additional to mandatory and recommended projects, as described above, you may also receive a subsidy for the following work:
- to replace paved surfaces (concrete, asphalt) with "green" surfacing, including permeable or cellular paving;
- to add a rainwater evacuation column segregated from the sewer system;
- to protect the building against sewer back-up, including installation of backwater valves;
- to improve the level of thermal insulation or airtightness of the building
- to create a new storage area easily accessible from outside the building;
- to demolish a secondary building.
Work not part of one of these categories cannot receive financial support.
It is mandatory to hire experts to plan and carry out your renovation project. Fees for the following can be subsidized:
- the creation of plans and specifications;
- construction site monitoring;
- engineering and fungal contamination assessments;
- pest extermination;
- permit fees for subsidized work;
- fees to occupy the public domain related to admissible subsidized work.
Consult details about admissible expenses.
The subsidy will be the equivalent of 30% to 45% of the contractor's invoice for admissible work according to the following table:
Table. Subsidy percentage for projects
Foundations, structure, envelope, roof
Openings, projections, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, crawl space
Electricity, plumbing, built-in and accessory furnishings, interior construction, interior finishes, fire protection system, sewer back-up protection, paving replacement, accessory building demolition, creation of new storage area
* If the rent of more than one third of the units is less than or equal to the level presented in the supplementary information, document, you may be able to receive the enhanced level of financial aid.
Fees related to subsidized work and professional services are subsidized at 50%.
The maximum support is:
- $14,000 per dwelling for admissible work;
- $2,800 per dwelling for admissible fees;
- $500,000 per building for all admissible work and fees.
The maximum enhanced support is:
- $16,100 per dwelling for admissible work;
- $3,200 per dwelling for admissible fees;
- $575,000 per building for all admissible work and fees.
Examples of financial aid can be found in this document
You do not need to wait until all work projects are completed to obtain a payment. In fact, the subsidy for each component can be paid as soon as renovation work on that component is completed, on condition that the appropriate expert attests to the completion in writing.
For example, if the contractor has finished renovating the roof, your architect can document that all roof-related work has been finished. You can present this proof with the contractor's invoice as well as other documentation to obtain the subsidy amount related to the roof. You then follow the same procedure for the other building components.
All mandatory work must be completed before you can request a payment related to non-mandatory work.
Certain conditions apply.
Work in occupied units
The program is focused on work exterior to dwelling units. If you must have work done within a dwelling, you must as much as possible allow tenants to remain, and limit inconveniences to them.
For example, if you have to decontaminate for mould, you will have to rehouse tenants, or offer them compensation. In all cases, you must rehouse them in the dwelling once renovations are completed.
Your commitments and obligations
The subsidy comes with certain commitments and obligations. You cannot:
- transform the units into non-residential spaces, subdivide or enlarge them;
- convert a dwelling into a divided or undivided copropriety (condominium)
- illegally evict tenants;
- render the building vacant;
- submit invoices or bids that do not present the real amounts paid;
- submit leases that indicate rent amounts different from the real amounts asked.
For three years following the last subsidy payment, the City may ask you to provide documentation to check on these obligations and other program conditions. If any one of the conditions is not respected, the subsidy will have to be reimbursed, in whole or in part.
You must agree to allowing the City to contact the tenants affected by the work. We will advise them of the nature of the renovations, their cost, the amount of the subsidy, the fact that the subsidy cannot be taken into account in any future rent increase, and their recourse if there is a disagreement about the rent.
Financial aid application
How can I apply for financial aid?
- By filling out the on-line application form
- Via regular mail or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) - making sure each time to include the address of the building for which the financial aid is being requested- the following documents:
- The required Supplementary forms;
- A document establishing that you are the owner of the building for which the application is being made, such as the registration from the Registre foncier, or an accepted offer to purchase;
- All available plans, analyses, specifications and tender documents;
- A copy of all leases in effect, signed by you and your tenants, demonstrating that one third of your units are affordable;
- Payment by cheque of the review fees. THESE FEES ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE.
If your application is eligible, we will send you a letter of confirmation.
Is there a fee to submit an application for financial support?
You must pay review fees of $270 + $49 for each dwelling unit up to a maximum of $1,740. This amount is not reimbursable, even if the qualification inspection determines that your building is inadmissible.
- Must my building be located within a particular area?
No, as long as it is located within Montréal city limits. Buildings located in a suburban city (demerged) are not admissible to the program.
- What do I need to do to demonstrate that my rents are affordable?
You must submit the leases of at least one third of the total number of dwelling units in the building when you submit your application. If you do not have a written lease, you must sign one with the tenants of the dwelling units that you want to present as affordable.