November 29, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Social Housing | The business community takes issue with Montreal regulations

Social Housing |  The business community takes issue with Montreal regulations

The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal is calling for an end to the controversial regulation of social, affordable and family housing because of its failures and negative impact on housing starts.

The mixed metropolis (also known as 20-20-20) regulation is nothing more than a tax on new construction that fuels real estate inflation without impacting the shortage of social and affordable housing, the Chamber (CCMM) said.

“The regulation of the mixed metropolis does not address the shortage of social and affordable housing. Worse, we believe that this regulation has contributed to the weakening of residential development and it has worsened the housing shortage in the territory,” we read in the CCMM opinion made public on Friday.

The release of the CCMM coincides with the City of Montreal holding an assembly on Friday to discuss a proposal to update regulations for the mixed metropolis.

A body representing the business community does not mince its words in criticism of regulation.

“The results of the regulation reveal that only one social housing project representing 86 apartments has moved forward since the regulation came into force. This is a real failure,” the Chamber of Commerce said bluntly.

Following the Oct. 30 report, the city introduced three changes to the by-law that did not impress Michelle LeBlanc, president and CEO of CCMM.

Photo by Martin Tremblay, Law Press Archives

President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Michel LeBlanc

“It is imperative to suspend the application of the regulation in order to find a well-calibrated solution that relies on the new funds released by the governments of Quebec and Canada. We must stop imposing an additional cost on developers and buyers when we want to accelerate housing construction,” he said in a press release.

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For the Chamber, the solution is to increase the supply of all types of housing. She suggested that Valerie Plante’s administration would encourage density in areas served by public transit, expedite the issuance of building permits, and focus the city’s resources on specific sectors, such as the racetrack or the bridge sector.

The opposition intervenes

The official opposition at City Hall adds its voice to the criticism of the Chamber of Commerce.

“Faced with the failure of the results of the Regulation for Mixed Metropolis (RMM), I urge the Plante administration to do the responsible thing and apply a moratorium on this regulation. Montreal families will not have the luxury of further suffering the effects of a public policy that produces no results,” said Julien Henault-Ratelle, official opposition spokesman on housing, in a written statement.

Mayor Valérie Plante defended her rules during a press conference on an NPO home purchase in east Montreal on Friday.

“This regulation is absolutely necessary,” she said. Everyone who builds must be a planning tool aimed at providing affordable housing and social housing. Yes, there is a slowdown in construction work. But if it had been done earlier, we would not have been in a crisis situation. I am doing it for the future generations who will not even find a home. »

“We’re staying the course to ensure Montrealers can find housing for all social classes, whether they’re at the bottom of the ladder or on the top, not just the super-rich. »

In collaboration with Isabelle Ducasse, Press

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