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October 03 2013

| from : Équipe Denis Coderre pour Montréal

A City for all


1. Poverty and the homeless: combat exclusion

We need to take care of all our citizens, especially the most vulnerable among us. Montreal must be a flagship of social development, both on the island and in the greater metropolitan region. The City has to take the lead and coordinate efforts to fight poverty, reduce homelessness and develop social housing.

COMMITMENT Show leadership in social innovation:

● Create the first social agency for the development of practical, equitable projects by acting as a bridge between the business community, institutions, governments and community organizations. Follow the example of Ville-Marie Social Services (VMSS), which aims to pool expertise to find solutions to homelessness and other social issues in the downtown area. The City could help this organization lend its expertise to all boroughs that struggle with issues of poverty, homelessness, reintegration and/or exclusion;

● Build a database on homelessness. The last study was done in 1996-1997, when the number of homeless totalled 28,000. Maintaining a live, accurate picture of the situation would help us determine realistic objectives;

● Review the entire municipal budget to redefine support for day centres and shelters within the context of a common, coherent policy;

● Collaborate with community organizations in their efforts to fight poverty and social exclusion;

● Bring the necessary pressure to bear on the Quebec government to improve food assistance programs.

2. Increase affordable housing 

Providing access to affordable housing is one of the best ways to fight poverty. Montreal currently faces a real affordable housing crisis, with only 57,000 social and community housing units for over 273,000 households living everyday in poverty. The solution: rethink social housing and incorporate it into inclusive urban planning.

Montreal has already endorsed the construction of community housing with its Inclusion of Affordable Housing Strategy, which states that all new residential projects of 200 units or more must include 30% affordable housing. The policy also provides for voluntary contribution to the Fond de contribution à la stratégie de logements abordables for projects that cannot include 30% social housing.

Montreal also has nearly 200,000 students yet only 5,000 rooms are available to them. The City has to address this problem.

COMMITMENT Improve access to affordable housing and student housing:

● Participation in the Fond de contribution à la stratégie de logements abordables, at set levels, must be made mandatory for all new projects of 200 units or more that don’t include 30% social housing. This will require an amendment to the Act respecting land use planning and development; the 200-unit threshold may be lowered following socio-economic impact studies;

● Use our leadership to extend this policy to all municipalities in the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC);

● Establish a student housing policy by first conducting market research with the associations involved to gather all the information needed to make practical, consistent decisions in collaboration with the student community.

3. Meet the needs of families

According to the Institut de la statistique du Québec, more than 22,000 people (some 10,000 households) moved out of Montreal in 2011-2012 to live on the north and south shores of the island. This phenomenon recurs year after year. According to these families, the main reason for leaving is difficulty finding a home with multiple bedrooms or a single family home with a yard.

Montreal’s Home Ownership Program is too small to allow Montreal to compete with the suburbs. Eligible properties are limited and unsuitable for young families.

COMMITMENT Improve Montreal’s Home Ownership Program:

● Increase the maximum purchase price for condominiums eligible for the financial assistance program for new or existing housing units to reflect current market prices;

● Make existing single-family homes and townhouses eligible for home ownership financial assistance.

COMMITMENT Make Montreal a family-friendly city:

● Obtain Municipalité amie des enfants certification;

● Promote the borough’s family policy and set up joint programs with community organizations to meet the needs of families;

● Re-assess recreational services offered to families (group activities: mom/baby, parent/child) and organize free intergenerational activities. Support the creation/implementation of sustainable infrastructure;

● Encourage participation in sports by providing proper facilities and equipment that meet the needs of young people.


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