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2050 Land Use and Mobility Plan: Mayor Plante promising fewer new units than the average building rate in recent years

  • Montreal would have 273,354 new housing units by 2050, at the pace of construction of the past five years.

Montreal, June 19, 2024 – The new housing unit construction targets in the City of Montreal’s 2050 Land Use and Mobility Plan are lower than the results of recent years, deplores a Montreal Economic Institute researcher.

“The Plante administration talks about the need to house more Montrealers, but then proposes a plan that involves less construction,” says Gabriel Giguère, senior public policy analyst at the MEI. “Mayor Valérie Plante needs to understand that the solution to the unaffordability of housing is to lower the regulatory and fiscal burden for new projects.”

As part of its Draft Land Use and Mobility Plan, the Plante administration aims to add a total of 207,000 units to Montreal’s housing stock by 2050 in order to achieve lasting affordability.

Between 2018 and 2023, there were an average of 10,514 housing unit starts per year.

If construction continued at this pace, a total of 273,354 units would be built in Montreal by 2050. The housing thus built would be developed primarily by the private sector, and so would require no contribution from taxpayers.

The plan put forward by the Plante administration aims to see 20 per cent of Montreal’s housing stock removed from the market by 2050, representing 161,000 units to be built or purchased at taxpayer expense.

The plan also involves the construction of 184 kilometres of tramway lines, the construction of a new metro line, and 448 kilometres of bike paths. Although the plan has not been costed out, the City of Montreal estimates that it would run in the “tens of billions of dollars.”

“Basically, the Plante administration’s proposed plan is to spend tens of billions of dollars to do less than what developers are doing today,” explains Mr. Giguère. “To return to affordability, the City of Montreal can and must do better, which means that it has to stop placing obstacles in the path of those who are trying to increase the supply of housing.”

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The MEI is an independent public policy think tank with offices in Montreal and Calgary. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policymakers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship.

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