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Mayor Plante Announced A Huge New Affordable Social Housing Project In Downtown Montreal

The Coop de la Montagne Verte will open 136 social housing units for individuals and familes.
Staff Writer
Mayor Plante Announced A Huge New Affordable Social Housing Project In Downtown Montreal

On Thursday, Mayor Valérie Plante announced that the city approved a $4-million grant for the Coop de la Montagne Verte, a new building that is set to be one of Montreal's largest cooperative housing projects. 136 social housing units will occupy the intersection of rue Saint-Jacques and rue de la Montagne in downtown Montreal. According to CTV News, the project will include homes for both individuals and families, with up to 4-room units available.

The $4-million grant will cover the initial costs of the project but the city will invest a total of $19-million to fund the development of the Coop de la Montagne Verte. 

The project's development has been ongoing for over a decade and this funding is the culmination of a long struggle to find an adequate location.

According to Radio-Canada, the project changed locations twice and had to receive extensive zoning permits and inspections because of it's proximity to a major water main. 

The Coop, which is set to be completed in 2021, will house 66 families, according to Mayor Plante. With vacancy rates in Montreal being at an all-time low, the city has a critical need for social and affordable housing.

According to figures from Shupilov Real Estate, the average price of a one-bedroom apartment in Montreal is now CAD$1,500 per month. 

In summer 2019, Mayor Plante and the City of Montreal addressed the city's lack of affordable housing with a new bylaw.

The regulation stipulates that "in order to obtain a building permit for residential projects equivalent to approximately five dwellings, the builder must conclude an agreement with the City to improve the supply of social, affordable and family housing."

The regulation makes clear that all residential projects must contribute "to 20% social housing, 20% affordable housing and 20% family housing." 

Translation: After a dozen years of work, I'm proud to announce, in the company of Robert Beaudry and Cathy Wong, that the Coop de la Montagne Verte is finally coming to downtown Montreal.

The Mayor hasn't been shy to enforce the regulation. In September 2019, Mayor Plante, in a highly-publicized move, cancelled a condo project in downtown Montreal because it didn't account for any social or affordable housing. 

READ ALSO: This Québécois Footballer & McGill Grad Is Headed To The Super Bowl

Mayor Plante doubled-down on the city's commitment to providing affordable and social housing when the city's 2020 budget was announced in November. 

An investment of $140-million to improving the city's stock of social housing and a promise to build 12,000 affordable homes by the end of 2020 is currently on track, with some 50% of the goal reached. 

Translation: My administration is proud to present an ambitious and human-level 2020 Budget. This is a budget for Montrealers, which will allow us to better enjoy the living environments that make our city famous.

According to data from Rentals.ca, the rent is estimated to increase by 5% in Montreal.

For instance, if you rent an apartment at $1,500 per month, your rent will increase to $1,575 per month with a 5% increase. For many, that's a significant increase. 

Montreal is the city with the highest percentage of renters in Canada and though thousands of units are built each year, vacancy rates remain stagnant. 

With Montreal losing its reputation as a rent-friendly city year after year, the city's administration is taking steps to ensure the city can maintain at least some semblance of affordability. 

To find out more about the Coop de la Montagne Verte, please visit the Comité du Logement Ville-Marie's official website

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