Mayor Valérie Plante and her party, Projet Montréal, committed Tuesday to "stimulate the construction" of 2,000 new affordable student housing units in Montreal "as early as 2022" — after the November 2021 municipal election.
"Montreal is one of the top 10 university cities in the world. If it wants to stay that way, we have to protect the affordability of housing," Plante said in a statement.
"The attractiveness of the city, our ability to attract talent and therefore our economic development depend on it."
The administration plans to use what's called its "first right of refusal" — essentially first dibs on a property — to "acquire land dedicated to affordable housing in areas near major post-secondary institutions."
It also plans to support non-profit initiatives and push for student housing in large projects like the conversion of the old Royal Victoria hospital.
Projet Montréal plans to acquire land for the student housing between 2022 and 2025.