The Metropolitan Montreal Chamber of Commerce has called for the suspension of the controversial regulation on social, affordable and family housing due to its failings and negative impact on housing starts.
The mixed city regulation (also called 20-20-20) is nothing but a tax on new construction that fuels real estate inflation without affecting the shortage of social and affordable housing, the Chamber (CCMM) emphasizes.
“The mixed city regulation has not solved the problem of the shortage of social and affordable housing. Worse still, we believe that this regulation has contributed to the weakening of residential development and that in turn it has exacerbated the housing shortage in the area,” we read in the CCMM opinion published on Friday.
The release of the CCMM coincides with the City of Montreal holding a meeting on Friday to discuss its proposal to update the bylaws for the mixed city.
The organization representing the business community does not mince its words in its criticism of regulation.
“The results of the regulation after two years reveal that only one social housing project, representing 86 apartments, has progressed since the regulation came into force. This is a real failure,” the Chamber of Commerce says categorically.
In the wake of the Oct. 30 report, the city made three bylaw changes that didn’t sit well with Michel LeBlanc, president and CEO of CCMM.
“It is urgent to suspend the implementation of the regulation to find a good solution based on the new funds released by the governments of Quebec and Canada. We must stop imposing additional costs on developers and buyers, when we instead want to accelerate housing construction,” he said in a press release.
For the room, the solution is to increase the supply of all types of housing. It suggests that Valerie Plante’s administration work to encourage population density in areas served by public transportation, speed up the issuance of building permits and concentrate city resources in specific sectors such as the racetrack or the Bonaventure bridge sector.
The opposition intervenes
The official opposition in the city council adds its voice to criticism of the Chamber of Commerce.
“In the face of the failure of the RMM results, I ask the Plante administration to do the responsible thing and implement a moratorium on this regulation. Montreal families do not have the luxury of more,” Julien Hainaut-Ratel, the official opposition spokesman on housing, said in a written statement. “From suffering from the effects of public policy that do not lead to results.”
Mayor Valérie Plante defended her bylaws Friday on the sidelines of a news conference about housing purchases by a non-profit organization in eastern Montreal.
“This regulation was absolutely necessary,” she said. It is a planning tool aimed at ensuring that everyone who builds should provide affordable housing and social housing. Yes, there is a slowdown in the start of construction. But if we had done this before, we would not be in a crisis situation. I’m doing this for future generations who can’t even find housing. »
“We are staying on track to ensure that Montrealers can find housing, regardless of whether they are at the bottom or top of the ladder, for all social classes, not just the wealthy.”
In collaboration with Isabelle Ducasse, Journalism
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