Afforabable Housing : Adoption of Montreal’s By-law for a Diverse Metropolis

The city of Montreal’s By-Law for a Diverse Metropolis, most commonly referred to as the “20/20/20” By-Law, was adopted on January 26th, 2021. The By-law governing the issuance of building permits for buildings with five or more dwellings is set to come into force on April 1, 2021. This is three months later than previously expected.

The latest version of the By-law took into account the most recent recommendations from the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM), thus simplifying certain requirements. It aimed to integrate 20% of social, affordable and family housing in new real estate development projects of five or more units. Going forward, this percentage will vary by sector with regard to affordable and family housing.

More specifically, the By-law centers its affordable housing requirements in sectors where a modification to the Planning Program has increased residential density. This component will be applied gradually to any developing higher-density neighbourhoods.

This city assures that the By-law will have a maximum 2% impact on the costs of construction for real estate developers. This increase still raises some concerns among the real estate sector, potentially prompting buyers and developers to turn to the suburbs of the city for the realization of their projects. The sector is also said to believe that citizens will follow suit given the rising prices of new leases.

The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily hit those already living in overcrowded or unsanitary households as well as those having difficulty paying their rent, highlighting now more than ever the housing inequalities across the city. Among its objectives, this By-law will ensure the creation and upholding of neighbourhoods that can accommodate a variety of residential needs.

To learn more about the By-Law, we invite you to consult its official version or the city of Montreal’s explanatory document, both only available in French at this time.

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