It is the turn of the opposition at city hall to criticize the reform of the Regulations for a Mixed Metropolis (RMM) which will have the effect, according to its detractors, of increasing the price of new housing in Montreal in the midst of a housing crisis.
The municipal administration is holding a public consultation meeting this Thursday evening on the changes it is proposing to its by-law.
“Unfortunately, the modifications proposed by the Plante administration to the Regulations do not provide incentives that would make it possible to accelerate the construction of housing,” deplores Julien Hénault-Ratelle, spokesperson for the official opposition on the matter, in a written statement. housing at Montreal city hall. The Plante administration must go back to the drawing board and stop persisting with solutions that are harmful to development. »
Ensemble Montréal also deplores that the public consultation meeting is led by the person responsible for urban planning and not by a permanent commission of the City. “However, this is the norm when making regulatory changes of this magnitude,” maintains the opposition spokesperson.
The changes proposed by the City of Montreal to the regulations on developers’ contributions to social and affordable housing will increase the cost of new housing in Montreal by more than $3,000, according to calculations by the Institut de développement régional du Québec (IDU), opposed to the regulation.
The RMM requires home builders to contribute to the social and affordable housing stock in three ways: the construction of social housing on the project site, the sale of land at a discount to the City or a financial contribution.
Entering into force in April 2021, the regulation has had mixed results so far.
In response, the municipal administration is proposing to reform its regulations by increasing the financial contributions required from developers by up to 82%, plus 5% indexation per year for 3 years.
By doing so, the City seeks to discourage developers from paying the penalty and encourage them to choose instead the transfer of land or the construction of turnkey social units.
This approach of using the stick rather than the carrot is also disapproved by house builders grouped within the Association of Construction and Housing Professionals of Quebec (APCHQ).
“In the midst of a housing crisis, incentives to build are non-existent. With the RMM, instead of promoting and incentivizing construction, we discourage it by imposing penalties. We have to find ways to get there so that everyone comes out a winner because at the moment, the needs are glaring,” says the president and CEO of the APCHQ, Maxime Rodrigue.
The APCHQ proposes the implementation of incentive measures now, as the City of Gatineau did in September 2023 with its subsidy program or a “Bonus zoning” approach, to increase the supply of housing in the metropolis.
Also, the Association raises the importance of forming a management committee of the RMM Fund to ensure accountability for the amounts paid in penalties by promoters, more than 25 million to date. The IDU asks the same thing.