CSL building tenants worry that proposed renovations could force them from their homes

Proposed renovations to a Cote-St-Luc building have some tenants fearing they could be pushed out of their homes.

According to city officials, a request for a zoning change was filed over a year ago, with the landlord specifically looking to increase the number of units in the building by adding an additional floor.

Alex Gorchkov, who has lived in the building for more than 20 years, said that he likes living there due to the affordable rent but fears he may be forced out.

“If they get the permit, some people like myself might lose their homes for good,” he said.

Audrey and Lindsay Rollin, who have been residents for 44 years, also fear for their futures.

“For the residents who live here now, it's not going to add anything for us, it's not going to give us anything,” said Lindsay Rollin. “All it will do is make our lives miserable. We'll have to put up with the noise, the construction. It's going to be awful.”

Cote-St-Luc city council member Dida Berku said that while the project hasn't been approved yet, the building is “in dire need of renovation.”

“So what we need to do is to balance how we can accommodate both sides.”

The building's owner did not respond to requests for comment.

Berku said that if construction proceeds, people can move to other, vacant units on a temporary basis.

“I am very sensitive to tenants' rights. From day one, I was very clear with the council that we had to find a way to protect the tenants,” she said.

However, she added that increasing the number of units available for rent in the city is “very good for the residents of Cote-St-Luc.”

An online information session is scheduled for next Monday.  

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