Mr. Speaker, I am also presenting a petition signed by the tenants living in low income housing in Sainte-Adèle, a town in my riding. The purpose of this initiative is to condemn the 30% cuts to the renovation budget for low income housing. In support of this petition, I would like to read an excerpt from a press release issued by the Fédération des locataires d'habitations à loyer modique du Québec:
the 2011 budget for the renovation of Low-Cost Housing (HLM) units [some of which are located in my riding] across the province will fall to 200 million dollars from 276 million dollars. This means that in 2011 a cut of 30% will be imposed on all Municipal Housing Offices that administer over 500 housing units and that other cuts will follow for the smaller housing offices in 2012. These cuts also mean that important construction work will again be delayed.
In concrete terms, these cuts will affect thousands of tenants who will continue to live in apartments with bad windows, frayed linoleum, and washrooms and kitchens without ventilation or proper plumbing. It will also mean that several buildings will remain inaccessible for people using personal mobility devices such as wheelchairs and scooters and that, amongst other things, the housing offices will have to abandon its program to retrofit apartments so as to enable the occupants to install individual washing machines and dryers.
These cuts are due to the refusal of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to finance these renovations. The CMHC should dedicate 140 million dollars of funding per year, however it now wants to limit its contribution to only 70 million dollars.
For this reason, I am presenting this petition and I am sure that I will have others in the weeks to come.