When Richard Beaudry looked into how he could redevelop his property in Ahuntsic in the north end of Montréal, he was advised by an architect to demolish the original building — which had housed his catering business for 30 years — and build new. So he did just that, tearing down the original building that had been built in 1982 and creating a 10-unit apartment building in its place. Five of the new units are affordable.

“I knew it was time to make a change, but I knew that I would not be building condominiums. For me, it was more important to be able to offer quality rental units to those who do not necessarily have the means to be property owners,” said the 76-year-old Beaudry, who has a long history of helping those in need in his community, including providing affordable rental housing and home-cooked meals to people with mental illness.

To help develop the property, Beaudry provided the land as equity and received $10,000 in Seed Funding from CMHC, which helped pay for the architect’s fees. Additionally, he was able to benefit from CMHC’s mortgage loan insurance flexibilities, which allowed for a smaller down payment and a lower insurance premium.

“The Seed Funding is a real plus for entrepreneurs like myself, because it helped pay for expenses. And the mortgage flexibilities meant that I could afford to make half my rentals more affordable than what’s on the market,” said Beaudry.

Construction on the project began in 2013 and was completed in February 2014, although the majority of the tenants had already moved into the building by October 2013. Residents enjoy a strong sense of community. The five affordable units rent for between $750 a month for a one-bedroom and $800 a month for a two-bedroom in 2014. By comparison, the other five market units, which are larger and include two-storey “penthouses,” rent from $975 to $1,350 a month.

Features in the new development include gas heating, central air, bamboo floors, washer, dryer and dishwasher hookups and a storage area in the basement. All the units have a balcony or terrace. The bamboo flooring over a one-inch concrete slab means the apartments are well insulated against noise. Five parking spaces are also available.

“I am proud to be able to give residents access to new units that are also close to all amenities and that are still within Montréal. I think you might have to go outside of Montréal to find something similar for the same price,” he added.


Transcript – Rue Lajeunesse

We are in the Ahuntsic neighbourhood, in the north end of Montréal.

{Visual}: Title: Montreal, Quebec.  Exterior neighbourhood shots – building and public bus pulling up to station

This neighbourhood has a large population. I decided to build affordable housing. Producing housing units gave me a pension fund and provided me with additional income.

{Visual}: Man speaking on-screen, Richard Beaudry, Owner, 10186 Lajeunesse St.

The building is located at 10186 Lajeunesse Street and has 10 units, 5 of which are affordable units. Each unit has air conditioning, a gas fireplace, washer, dryer and dishwasher hookups and a storage area in the basement. All the units have a balcony. It is a building that I would consider as above average.

{Visual}: Exterior/Interior shots of building – living rooms, kitchen, balcony, hallway, bedroom

I met with my financial advisor who told me that CMHC could help me.

{Visual}: Man speaking on-screen; Richard Beaudry, Owner, 10186 Lajeunesse St.

I had the land as equity, and I contacted CMHC to obtain a $10,000 grant under the Seed Funding Program. This amount helped to cover the architect’s fees.

{Visual}: Richard Beaudry walking the grounds of 10186 Lajeunesse St. with Patrice Tardif.  Video transitions to Richard Beaudry speaking on-screen.

There was the possibility of either converting the building or constructing a new one. After a cost and feasibility analysis, the architect suggested that he opt for a new construction rather than renovation, which would have probably cost more.

{Visual}: Man speaking on-screen; Patrice Tardif, CMHC.  Video transitions to before and after images.

I also obtained mortgage loan insurance flexibilities.

{Visual}: Richard Beaudry, Owner, speaking on-screen

Mr. Beaudry is able to benefit from mortgage loan insurance flexibilities…

{Visual}: Patrice Tardif, CMHC speaking on-screen

…which allowed for a smaller down payment and a lower insurance premium.  

{Visual}: Shots of building exterior and interior bedroom and kitchen 

The residents have access to new units and are also close to all amenities. They might have to go outside Montréal to find something similar for the same price.

{Visual}: Interior shots of den, bathroom and laundry room.  Video transitions to Richard Beaudry speaking on-screen

My mother used to live with my brother, but he passed away a year ago and she could not live by herself. I then suggested she move here, close to where I live. She is very comfortable and finds it great. She really likes her neighbours. The people are nice and friendly.

{Visual}: Family gathered in living room – elderly woman conversing.  Video transitions to elderly resident, Yvette Lavoie Raymond, and son, Michel Raymond, with Michel speaking on-screen.  Cut to elderly woman with granddaughter at dining room table

At 10186 Lajeunesse Street, the residents have access to affordable, safe and very nice units.

{Visual}: Elderly woman cutting ham in kitchen.  Video transitions to elderly woman and son in the kitchen, with bouquet of flowers on dining room table in the forefront.

{Visual}: End video with CMHC logo and Canada wordmark

Date Published: March 31, 2018