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Report highlights failures of City of Montreal social housing bylaw, opposition says

The opposition at Montreal City Hall says a new report on the city's bylaw to spur the construction of social and affordable housing highlights how much of a failure the bylaw has been.

In the past two years, there's been one social housing project and no affordable housing projects.

The opposition called for the bylaw to be suspended.

On Friday, the city's housing commission was presented with the latest report, which did nothing to calm those worried about the current housing crisis — one that has created a lack of affordable and social housing and very low vacancy rates overall.

The city has tried to stimulate the construction of various types of housing with its bylaw that penalizes developers if they do not, but developers have chosen instead to pay a penalty rather than include high- and low-end rental properties in the same projects.

The report showed this week that not a single affordable housing project was started.

What some might see as a silver lining is that the city has collected $17 million in fines to be used in future social housing and $8 million for affordable housing.

The opposition's housing critic acknowledges that inflation and the chronic labour shortage are not Mayor Valérie Plante's doing but he says the city can cut the red tape.

"The administration in Montreal also has some powers to improve the citation and when we are talking to [developers] they tell us that the administrative processes are taking way longer than other Quebec cities. For example, in Laval or Longueuil," said Ensemble Montreal's Julien Hénault-Ratelle, who represents Tétreaultville.

"And that's a huge problem because right now we are facing an exodus of [developers] in Montreal."

Saturday afternoon, a spokesperson for Mayor Plante told CTV News in a statement that the bylaw isn't perfect but it is a mechanism that should work, given a better economic climate.

The statement added that the city will not withdraw the bylaw. Top Stories

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