Deschênes affordable housing project nears completion after three-year delay
Residents may have noticed an unfinished residential project located at 34 rue Deschênes. Some voiced concerns that it would never be completed. The “Des Rapides” residential project has remained unfinished since 2019. Habitations de l’Outaouais métropolitain (HOM), a local nonprofit organization, is responsible for the project. The project's construction is being completed by GMR construction.
The project is a six-building, 30-unit mixed affordable and subsidized housing. Of the 30 units, 20 will be two-bedroom, four will be three-bedroom, another four will be four-bedroom and two will be five-bedroom apartments. According to Karina Osiecka, communications officer and spokesperson for HOM, the project will be the first of its kind offering four-bedroom apartments. These units are important for lower income large families needing affordable housing with more space.
After months of consultations and planning, the project’s construction began in the spring of 2019 and was set to be completed by 2020. The construction was originally halted by the COVID-19 pandemic which shut down the construction industry as well as many others. “After work was halted, we had delays because of supply chain issues, delivery issues, scheduling issues with the construction company that had other engagements,” said Osiecka, explaining the delays for the project. “Once work started, some of the material was affected by snow and rain, as it had been sitting there longer than anticipated.”
The spokesperson noted that the quality of the project has not been affected and that additional inspections and follow-ups were conducted to ensure the project meets construction standards. The contract for the project is valued at $5,835,000 before taxes.
“We know this project is anticipated by the community and recognize the importance of having affordable housing, especially with the housing crisis,” said Osiecka. “If everything goes to plan, we are hoping to welcome residents in the fall of this year.”
HOM is an independent nonprofit organization with a mission to increase the supply of affordable housing. HOM has an alliance with the Office d'habitation de l'Outaouais, which manages HOM’s buildings and the selection of tenants.
Photo caption: Des Rapides affordable housing project near completion on July 14th, 2023.
Photo credit: Sophie Demers