Major Work

In 2004, the OMHM conducted a wide-ranging inspection to determine the condition of its housing stock. The inspection revealed a maintenance and renovation shortfall due to years of low investments. 


A drastic change took place in 2008 as a result of an unprecedentedly large infusion of funds. Since that time, more than $626 million have been invested in replacing, improving and modernizing buildings.

The OMHM prepares a list of the low-rent housing projects that will undergo major changes during the year. It bases itself on priorities and benchmarks set by the Société d’habitation du Québec, specifically work related to:

  • tenants’ health and safety; and
  • the integrity, sustainability and improvement of the building.

A dedicated team

The OMHM has rallied a dedicated team to manage its many construction sites. The team’s function is to renovate, restore and modernize the buildings. It also manages all of the relationships and communications with tenants affected by the work.

If you would like to receive information about the construction project underway in a building, enter its postal code in the “About My Home” section. This will give you access to all of the infoletters on work being done in the building.

Consultations and assistance

The OMHM sees tenants as the experts in the use of the property. It believes that their contribution is important to the completion and success of the work. Whenever possible, the OMHM consults with them from the very start of the project to improve its chances of acceptance. It also seeks to adapt the housing to the needs of tenants, and to make sure that the improvements last as long as possible. Another objective of the OMHM is to strengthen the tenants’ sense of belonging. Among other things, these consultations address layout, security and the choice of colours and various components (e.g. floor finish).

All tenants are strongly encouraged to take part in the meetings. These are announced in a notice posted at the building’s main entrance.

In addition, given that the work is generally done while the tenants are around, a team of OMHM liaison officers are available throughout the construction period. Among other things, these officers may refer tenants to neighbourhood agencies for some respite or may help them get their apartment ready for the workers.

In any given year, an average of

  • 1800 tenants attend 80 information meetings;
  • 700 tenants attend 70 consultation meetings;
  • upwards of 180 communications are issued by the OMHM to tenants; and
  • upwards of 200 construction projects are managed by the OMHM.



Public Housing of the Future

By 2016, the average age of our low-rent housing stock is up to 35 years. This means that a number of components may well be reaching the end of their useful life. Upgrades may also be required to comply with the new rules of the Régie du bâtiment or of the construction industry.

Renovations may be required in some buildings. In January 2015, the OMHM decided to identify some of its low-rent housing projects under the heading of Public Housing of the Future. These will undergo major renovation work over the next few years.

Extensive consultations

Early consultations on these major projects address issues of lifestyle and comfort. They also provide the opportunity to present different options to the tenants, and to get their feedback. The objective is to involve them in the work because they are the experts on the use of the property.

Public Housing of the Future have the following features:

  1. The property will undergo a significant transformation in its image and living environment.
  2. More than $35,000 will be invested per apartment.
  3. The project involves replacing, improving or modernizing several features in the building. 
  4. The work takes place in one phase or in several interventions spread over time.The project calls for ongoing assistance due to:
    • the significant length of the work; 
    • the dynamics and challenges specific to the area;  
    • the significant impact on the area and on lifestyles;  
    • multiple visits to occupied apartments; 
    • and the relocation of most if not all of the households.

Les habitations Dandurand

Les habitations Dandurand (before and after the work)

Approximate duration of construction

Construction periods may vary significantly depending on the work being done.

A construction project valued at up to $150,000 will take approximately 5 months from the time a decision is made to start the work and when it is completed by the contractor. Unforeseen developments can always extend this timeframe, including the budget allocated to the OMHM for the work.

Example of a construction project: roof upgrade.

Average-sized project: approximately 8 months

Work of average complexity and scope ($150,000 to $300,000) can easily take 5 months for the plans and specifications preparation and design phase. A contractor will only begin the work approximately 8 months after the decision is made.

Example of construction project: replacement of doors and windows.

Major project: more than one year

Projects of more than $1 million involve a series of steps that can have a relatively significant impact on tenants’ day-to-day lives. They often require a great deal of preparation, as well as large budgets. These projects represent 5% of the total work projects.

Example: at Habitations De Lanaudière, the replacement of doors, windows, balcony railings and brick on the building’s four façades, among other things, took one year to complete.


Approximate duration of construction

Major projects in 5 stages

The major work is a complex project. It is subject to rules, imponderables and challenges.


  • rules and regulations of the Société d’habitation du Québec and the Régie du bâtiment;
  • a budget, which is formalized in late spring every year;
  • the requirement that the annual budget be spent by December 31 of the current year;
  • almost daily monitoring of the work program and budget because of the costs, calls for tenders, etc.;
  • challenges related to the fact that tenants are in their apartments while the work is underway; and
  • unforeseen developments in the work itself.

 The following is a highly simplified depiction of the process. 


ExpertiseProject designSelecting the contractor

Worksite preparationConstruction

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