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Action plan to improve sanitary conditions in dwellings

Unsanitary dwellings exist in Montréal, and some cases are severe. A number of families live in dwellings with sub-standard sanitary conditions, whose landlords are unwilling to improve. Because of a lack of resources, boroughs cannot always enforce the By-law concerning the sanitation, maintenance and safety of dwelling units.

The municipal administration is aware of the problem and, for this reason, mandated the Service de la mise en valeur du territoire (SMVT) to implement an action plan to help the boroughs enforce the by-law.

The plan specifically targets the most complex unsanitary conditions, for which the level of intervention exceeds the boroughs’ ability to take action. A team reporting to the Direction de l’habitation of the SMVT has been set up to implement this action plan.

The team is made up of 12 members, including eight inspectors, with a mandate to systematically inspect dwellings and buildings with severe unsanitary conditions, as identified jointly with the boroughs. Since its creation in 2007, this team has inspected more than 12,500 dwellings. Based on an inspection, the team responsible for the action plan fills out and sends a notice of non-compliance, or in some cases a statement of offence, to the building owners. To this day, 80% of by-law violations have been corrected.

Major efforts, including corrective measures and convictions, are being made to achieve results in the short term.

With this action plan, the municipal administration makes available to the boroughs the proper tools to help them enforce the By-law concerning the sanitation, maintenance and safety of dwelling units. Ultimately, dwelling quality will improve in Montréal, as will the quality of life of tenants.