Municipal Housing Strategy
The City's intervention in housing is to implement a strategy based on three areas of focus: a balanced residential supply, improved housing conditions and living environments and residential development. Municipal interventions will target City-wide concerns rather than borough-level issues.
Housing : Converging actions
Montréal derives its social and demographic balance, as well as a competitive economic advantage, from the quality and diversity of housing it offers. In order to improve its housing supply, the City is implementing a housing strategy to support and complement the market and act in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. The strategy seeks to:
- Manage growth in the long term, by combining housing construction with the conservation of existing housing units in order to consolidate the urbanized area of the City and take full advantage of existing infrastructure;
- Maintain an inclusive society, where social diversity within the City, the boroughs and individual development projects creates a viable community that is able to support a range of services.
1. Providing a balanced residential supply
Access to the rental housing market poses challenges for certain types of households, including those with low incomes, newcomers and large families. Current price levels and the evolving housing supply are also making it increasingly difficult for low-income households to buy their first home. In response to these problems, the City is deploying a strategy for affordable housing, which includes subsidies and programs designed to ease access to property ownership, as well as incentives and regulatory measures, to ensure social diversity within major real estate projects. When dealing with a more vulnerable clientele, such as seniors losing their autonomy, the homeless and troubled youth, these measures will create an environment conducive to personal development in addition to offering affordable housing, by providing support services and links to health and social services.
2. Improving housing conditions and living environments
The condition of the housing stock has a direct effect on the municipal tax base and the overall quality of life. Although most of the Montréal's housing stock is in good condition, it requires close observation and measures to encourage the improvement of its state of repair as well as to correct deterioration that affects specific areas or types of buildings, including the older segments of the social housing stock. Social changes have also created the need to adapt residential spaces to meet a variety of situations: home support for the elderly, the growth in home offices, student housing, rooming houses, etc. The strategy also covers actions within integrated revitalization projects.
3. Promoting residential development
In order to achieve the objective of building 60,000 to 75,000 housing units between 2004 and 2014, the strategy identifies a number of incentives in addition to those mentioned before, such as facilitating and supporting new residential development and attracting the attention of potential investors or buyers. Requalifying some large urban sites will require measures to help recycle non-residential buildings, soil remediation programs and the relocation of businesses or activities.
Acting in partnership
The strategy will call upon the close collaboration of many stakeholders working in both the public and private domains, particularly the Société d'habitation du Québec in the case of joint funding of programs, paramunicipal organizations (Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal, Société d'habitation et de développement de Montréal), the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal and various government social services and health organizations along with the private and community sectors. These partnerships, which will ensure that issues are considered from an intersectorial perspective, constitute the basis for a diversified approach that is aimed at meeting the entire spectrum of housing challenges in Montréal.