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NDG tenants upset by renovations kicking them out of indoor parking garage


Tenants living in an apartment building in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce are upset that major renovations will cut them off from their indoor parking lot for several months. 

The building with more than 300 units is near Sherbrooke Street West and Cavendish Boulevard, where parking is hard to find at the best of times.

"It’s frustrating," said tenant Melissa Gelfand.

She and her neighbours have all gotten used to the hassle of major renovations, but say the next stage isn't sitting well.

The renovations mean the underground parking spaces need to be cleared of cars, which she says is forcing more than 100 vehicles to be relocated.

Tenants like Evylne Budkewitsc -- who has lived at the building for more than 20 years -- aren't sure where they'll go.

"There are so many cars, and NDG is a terrible neighbourhood to find parking in, on top of winter, with all the snowstorms we’re getting, we’re all going to be fighting for a spot in the entire area," she said.

The garage is expected to stay closed for at least six months, starting Feb. 6, and tenants will be compensated monthly.

In a letter to tenants, the building's owners said they couldn’t delay the renovations.

There are also concerns about proposed rent hikes of more than 11 per cent. The owners said they used Quebec's Administrative Housing Tribunal's calculation system accounting for major work in 2022.

"We have done major work in 2022 for over $6,500,000, including doors and windows, building insulation, exterior siding and roofing. In addition, other factors considered in the calculation are the variation in municipal taxes, school taxes, insurance and the increase in natural gas," Danny Brouillard, director general of Groupe Laberge, wrote in an email to CTV News.

Gelfand said she's aware of inflation is causing prices to rise, but said, "the tenants are suffering."

Martin Messier, president of the Quebec landlords association, said 2022 was an especially expensive year.

"I’ve seen numerous buildings getting four, six per cent increases — even 17 per cent increases in cases — where you mix insurance increases, tax increases and major repairs," Messier said.

He added that tenants should get in touch with their landlords to understand the numbers.

Meanwhile, housing advocates say they can help, too.

"Housing communities are there to support tenants, and to double check if the rent increase is abusive or not," said Catherine Lussier, a Montreal-based community organizer at FRAPRU, a housing rights group.

With renovations on their garage starting next week, the tenants are still hoping for some last-minute flexibility. Top Stories

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