The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal is pleased to present its exclusive new study: Building more, faster, better: a smart densification strategy for Greater Montréal.
Just 15 years ago, the overall supply of housing in Montréal and the metropolitan area met demand with one of the best affordability indices of major cities on the continent. This equation has been disrupted. In the past decade alone, housing costs have increased 44%.
The Chamber would like to see more housing units created to restore market supply. But this needs to be done thoughtfully. We advocate for smart densification, built around public transit arteries that frees up space on the ground to create pleasant living environments. Densifying allows us to reach our carbon footprint reduction targets.
This study is based on a consultation with many key players in housing.
Here are the Chamber’s proposals:
- Set minimum density thresholds for transit-oriented development (TOD) and strategic areas, like those identified in this report (see map, p. 33) enabling the creation of 23,100 housing units per year until 2041.
- Apply principles of land use planning identified in this report as orientations for studying and approving real estate projects located in a TOD or strategic area.
- Eliminate the obligation to provide a minimum number of parking spaces for projects located in a TOD or strategic area.
- Automatically authorize at least two units per property when zoning allows for housing in a TOD or strategic area.
- Commit to adopting and applying major land use planning and smart densification principles.
- Involve the neighbourhood in projects, including residents and civil society, from the outset of planning.
- Review Bill 16 – An Act to amend the Act respecting land use planning and development (LAU) to:
- Eliminate the referendum approval process that applies in strategic areas of a TOD area in Greater Montréal;
- Adapt this procedure for the rest of the territory of TOD areas so that all zones affected by a TOD area are targeted during the approval of a particular construction, change of occupation of a building, or zoning change project.
- Set minimum density thresholds for TOD and strategic areas, like those identified in this report (see map, p. 33) and enable the creation of 23,100 housing units per year until 2041 as part of the Government of Québec’s land use planning orientations (OGAT) and the CMM’s metropolitan land use planning and development plan (PMAD).
- Commit to supporting real estate developers to accelerate the approval of residential projects in a TOD or strategic area.
- Integrate in the LAU a density transfer mechanism to encourage conserving and enhancing natural or built heritage assets.
- Adopt a tax incentive for the densification of TOD and strategic areas in Greater Montréal.
- Better finance social and affordable housing, as well as infrastructure in TOD and strategic areas of the CMM.
- Adopt Bill 16 – An Act to Amend the Act respecting land use planning and development and offer municipalities the ability to introduce mechanisms to incentivize density and the height of construction automatically applicable in TOD and strategic areas to foster on-site integration of social and affordable housing.
- Increase international immigration of people skilled in construction, develop incentives to attract young people to the construction industry, and adopt an action plan to foster automation and digitization (BIM) in the residential construction industry.
- Review incentives for the first buyers and adjust them to the current market.
About the study
Build more, faster, better: a smart densification strategy for Grand Montréal is a study that paints a picture of housing in Greater Montréal and proposes solutions to address the housing shortage. It was conducted by Fahey Associés and Altus Group, with the support of the Société d’habitation du Québec and the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM).
Download the study (in French only)