ROMEL was founded by the 7 following organizations: L’OEIL, CLSC Côte-des-Neiges, la Maison Internationale de la Rive-Sud, YMCA International, l’Hirondelle, the Lao community of Quebec and La Maisonnée.
Deeply concerned with housing discrimination against various cultural communities, these organizations needed a specialized organization they could rely on to offer housing expertise and serve the needs of their clients in all housing-related matters.
ROMEL fulfilled that initial mission by gathering and centralizing all housing-related information—for diffusion to their founding organizations—and by offering training and workshops to their outreach workers.
ROMEL’s primary purpose was to inform cultural community members and their respective organizations about housing programs and services, and to engage them in the management of their housing conditions.
In 1986, ROMEL translates various publications on tenants’ rights and responsibilities in 5 languages.
ROMEL’s second mandate is to promote housing accessibility to cultural communities; this is how ROMEL organizes the first hubs of multiethnic housing cooperatives in Montreal.
Their outreach efforts with various government agencies on cultural communities’ housing needs eventually pay off. In 1986, following a recommendation from the Minister of Cultural communities and Immigration through a CIPACC report, the Société d’Habitation du Québec (SHQ) officially recognizes ROMEL as a full-fledged Technical Resource Group (TRG) dedicated to serving cultural communities.
1990 to 1999
In 1990, ROMEL completes their first community housing project: La Coopérative des Ethnies, in Saint-Laurent.
In 1992, ROMEL signs an agreement with the Minister of Immigration and Cultural communities to provide housing information workshops for newcomers, in addition to setting up a housing bank.
In 1994, ROMEL publishes the “Guide de participation civique” with the support of Canadian Heritage. Designed for newcomers, the Guide aims to inform them about the governance, political and historical contexts of their new host country.
In 1997, ROMEL is granted financial support from Centraide du Grand Montréal (United Way) in support of their new housing database.
2000 to 2005
In 2000, ROMEL initiates a service restructuring, while updating their working tools and staff-training programs.
From 2000 to 2005, ROMEL implements ten community housing projects, where cooperative tenants are trained and supported on how to manage their housing conditions, and nonprofit tenants are encouraged to get involved on housing committees and board of directors.
In 2005, ROMEL completes a strategic plan to redefine their mission and restructure their services.
In 2006, ROMEL receives financial support from Centraide to develop a relational, computerized database of prospective tenants and available housing in Montreal, as per one of the main goals from the 2005 strategic plan.
In 2007, ROMEL hosts their 23rd anniversary at Montreal’s prestigious City Hall among partners, members, and municipal and provincial officials.
June 18, 2007, as an honour for the Fight Against Racism, their Executive Director receives the Quebec Government Anne-Greenup Award, as part of the Quebec Award for Citizenship.
Late 2007, ROMEL publishes the 4th edition of their Housing Guide in three languages.
In 2008, in an effort to raise tenants awareness about their electricity consumption, ROMEL collaborates with Hydro-Québec to publish materials based on the ENERGY WISE Home Diagnostic, in French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, and Urdu.
In March 2009, the Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities announces its financial support to the partnership between APQ (Association des Propriétaires du Québec – Quebec Landlords Association) and ROMEL, as part of the “Programme d’appui aux relations interculturelles (PARI)”, to promote harmonious relations between landlords and tenants. This results in the creation of Project Harmonie.
ROMEL launches this project in partnership with APQ. Both nonprofits share experiences in order to facilitate the arrival of newcomers by meeting their housing needs. Through individual visits and group meetings, the project aims to raise awareness among landlords about prejudices on newcomers’ financial capabilities; and among tenants about their rights and obligations toward landlords. This initiative, which aims to improve the housing assistance offer, is part of ROMEL’s mission to create tools and strategies that foster integration and civic participation.
2010 to 2013
April 12, 2010 sees the inauguration of Place l’Acadie, a project designed to revitalize the area, while empowering residents over their lives through improvement of their housing conditions.
In 2012, ROMEL publishes the 5th edition of their Housing Guide in three languages, with support from partners SHQ, MICC, CMHC, Fiducie Desjardins, APQ, AGRTQ, OMHM, City of Montreal, STM, Gaz Metro and Hydro-Québec.
In 2013, ROMEL holds 234 information sessions on housing, as part of francization courses funded by the Ministère de l’Immigration du Québec.
In 2014, in pursuit of their mission of “empowerment” through knowledge, ROMEL produces a new guide on intercultural communication, the “Guide des bonnes pratiques / Locataire & propriétaire: parlons-en”, in partnership with SHQ.
In 2015, ROMEL extends their information sessions by delivering 270 more lectures in several languages: French, English, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Ukrainian and Russian.
The same year, ROMEL celebrates their 30th anniversary in Montreal City Hall, under the theme: « Le Logement: la Clé de l’intégration” (Housing as key to integration). Numerous oral and written testimonials from various organizations and elected officials who believe in ROMEL’s mission are collected in a booklet and distributed for the occasion.
On that day, ROMEL is awarded a commemorative plaque by the Fondations du Quartier to mark their 30 years of existence and the excellence of their services.
FECHIMM celebrates ROMEL’s 30 years of commitment to cultural communities by also presenting them with a commemorative plaque.
In 2016, ROMEL co-organizes a conference entitled “La différence coopérative: Le pouvoir de gérer son milieu de vie”; and holds a presentation entitled “Le Logement, la clé de l’intégration”.
ROMEL is actively involved in welcoming Syrian refugees, and their general manager makes several media appearances to explain the issues and possible solutions to hosting refugees.
In 2107, ROMEL develops a new tool to facilitate housing search (ICI LOGIS), in synergy with the Harmonie project. However, proper development of this platform is hindered by a lack of financial support.
The same year, in partnership with the City of Montreal, ROMEL proposes a new tool: Beiti, Mon Logement à Montréal, an initiative for Syrian refugees. Through awareness sessions and distribution of orientation kits, this tool provides Syrian refugees with online information that allows them to respond appropriately to various situations with their landlords and neighbours.
As part of its 375th anniversary celebration, the City of Montreal holds an exhibition to honour 40 years of community housing development. To emphasize the human dimension of community housing, ROMEL creates a tribute to all volunteers who devoted time and energy toward community welfare and who helped create inclusive and supportive living environments.
ROMEL implements a pilot initiative to match housing needs of homeless people or those at-risk, with available housing. This project is carried out in collaboration with MultiCAF.
ROMEL attends the Standing Senate Committee meeting on Human Rights, which has undertaken a study on the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
In 2018, ROMEL completes a two-year participation and commitment on the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood strategic planning process. Led by the CDC, this program strives to provide the neighbourhood with a 5-year action plan and to foster community development.
ROMEL creates a working committee with PDQ26, SARPAD and TCAIM to address awareness and prevention of elder members abuse among cultural communities living in community housing projects.
In collaboration with AGRTQ and Montreal GRTs, ROMEL co-hosts an information stand at the XII Metropolis World Congress.
In 2019, ROMEL attempts to set up the Première Porte project.
6555 ch. de la Côte-des-Neiges, suite 400Montréal, Qc H3S 2A6