Thirty seniors will be evicted from a Napierville RPA without financial compensation

An uprooting awaits the 29 semi-autonomous tenants of the only private residence for seniors (RPA) in Napierville, in Montérégie, who are gradually leaving the premises after receiving an eviction notice in anticipation of the change of use of the room that they occupy, for some for decades. And the owners do not intend to compensate them financially, as provided for by law.

Built 32 years ago in a four-storey former convent located next to the village church, Résidence Napierville has 39 apartments for independent seniors and 43 rooms for semi-autonomous clients. It is these rooms that will change vocation. Thus, in mid-October, 29 residents aged on average over 80 received an eviction notice from the owners of the family business. They have until April 15, 2023 to vacate the premises.

“Each had an eviction notice and, the same day, they all signed the notice received on October 12, ”says Danièle J. Dubreuil, who runs this RPA with her sister Marie-Claude Jannelle. Both were met Wednesday in their office located inside the residence.

By ceasing to care for semi-autonomous residents, the owners of the RPA will be able to lay off 18 employees, such as cooks and attendants. “We are still a residence for independent seniors, but there will be no more personal care. We will no longer have attendants, nurses and all that,” confirms Danièle J. Dubreuil.

The only way out

The co-owners say they never thought they would have to close one of their resources for seniors. However, this option would have become inevitable due to the shortage of manpower, the significant cost associated with the care offered to semi-autonomous residents and the fact that several of the rooms reserved for them have been empty since the start of the pandemic. .

“When you have 20 free rooms per month and you have the same expenses, you can’t do it anymore,” says Marie-Claude Jannelle, who would have liked to have financial support from Quebec to get through this troubled period.

The closure of this resource for semi-autonomous seniors is nothing short of anecdotal. Since January 2021, more than 300 RPAs have closed their doors in Quebec, a number that continues to climb, worries the chairman of the board of directors of the Quebec Regrouping of residences for seniors (RQRA), Hugo Boucher.

“They’re not closing it for fun, they’re closing because, financially, they can’t do it anymore,” says Mr. Boucher, referring to RPA owners who offer health care that is costing them more and more. . “It’s really a vicious circle,” adds the one who urges Quebec to help its members financially.

No compensation

The Civil Code of Quebec specifies that an eviction notice concerning an indefinite term lease must be sent to the tenant concerned six months before the end of it, a criterion that the owners of the Residence Napierville claim to have respected. These confirm, however, that they do not have offered, for each evicted tenant, the equivalent of three months’ rent as well as a reasonable sum to compensate for moving expenses, as provided for by law.

“There is no compensation because they are given six months [d’avis] », indicates Danièle J. Dubreuil. A situation denounced by the Rive-Sud Housing Committee, which is trying to contact the tenants concerned and their families to inform them of their rights.

“The obligation to send the notice at least six months before the end of the lease has nothing to do with the compensation” to which tenants are entitled in cases of eviction for change of assignment, confirms d e-mailed housing lawyer Manuel Johnson. Without commenting on this specific case, Hugo Boucher, of the RQRA, recalls that he encourages all his members to “respect the law”.

The co-owners of the RPA ensure for their part to do everything possible to facilitate the transition of the evicted residents to their new home, in collaboration with the CISSS de la Montérégie-Ouest. However, the options are limited, and many tenants have no choice but to turn to resources located in neighboring towns, particularly Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

“It’s a question of the social safety net. For residents who have been there for years, they have bonded with other residents. Everything is close here for them: the community center, the grocery store,” says the community organizer of the South Shore Housing Committee, Tatiana Barazal. “We don’t know what will happen with them. »

The owners also claim that they do not know at this stage what the purpose of these rooms will be after the eviction of the residents. “Nothing is decided yet,” says Danièle J. Dubreuil.

Several departures

Of the 29 residents who received an eviction notice in mid-October, a dozen have already left the premises, confirm the co-owners of the RPA. Others will leave during the month of December, they add. Thus, “there will not be many people left before Christmas”, drops Marie-Claude Jannelle. The latter ensures, however, that no pressure is exerted on the tenants to leave the premises before the date scheduled for the change of assignment of the resource.

“When they’re ready, they’ll leave,” says Jannelle, while acknowledging that it might not be desirable for them to stay in an RPA that quickly empties. “It’s our duty to notify families if there are only two people left on December 10, for example,” she said.

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