Pyrrhotite research welcomed by Quebec real estate body

An issue that is affecting the foundations of many homes in Quebec is to be addressed by a new research chair.

The mineral pyrrhotite causes concrete to swell when in contact with moisture and it has been an ongoing problem for homeowners, primarily in the Mauricie and in the Centre-du-Québec regions.

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Andrée Laforest, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister responsible for the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Region; and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, have created a Research Chair between the National Research Council of Canada and Laval University with the purpose of eliminating the problems caused by this damage.

"In the Trois-Rivières region, many owners of homes built between 1996 and 2008 have unfortunately discovered in recent years that their home's foundation has been contaminated by pyrrhotite," states Hassan Chellah, president of the Mauricie Real Estate Board. "After waiting for such a long time, this news comes as a Christmas present!"

QFREB welcomes news
The Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards has also welcomed the news. It has been calling for a continuation of the Program for Residences Damaged by Pyrrhotite, which has been in effect since July 2011, to ensure that homeowners whose foundations have been damaged by the presence of pyrrhotite can continue to receive financial assistance for necessary renovation work. It is estimated that more than 1,000 households have benefited from this program since its inception.

"The QFREB welcomes the announcement made by both levels of government and believes that this initiative will reduce the economic impact of pyrrhotite in Québec and better protect Québec households struggling with this scourge," added Patrick Juanéda, QFREB President.

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