The Plante administration partially corrected its official affordable housing report yesterday following a file published by our Bureau of Investigation. Despite everything, the mayor of Montreal describes her record as extremely transparent.
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• Read also: Housing report: “outright lies”, claims the opposition
The City has removed more than 230 private affordable housing units that will ultimately never see the light of day from its official 12,000 Housing Strategy report.
These had been identified in our survey published yesterday on the real results of housing construction during the first term of Valérie Plante.
According to government figures, more than 13,000 social and affordable housing units have been built. But our Bureau of Investigation discovered that only 4,237 new homes were built.
The balance sheet has been changed, but not entirely. A note was added to indicate that 98 dwellings could be counted twice, but without removing them from the balance sheet.
The Plante administration also did not remove the 89 rooms counted as full-fledged accommodation or those sold above the affordability threshold, which our article also mentioned.
Despite the corrections, the mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, insisted on the “transparency” of her balance sheet.
“Our strategy has always been very transparent. Everything is on the website, the axes, the way of doing things …”, proclaimed Ms. Plante yesterday.
However, the count of affordable housing under construction or subsidies for existing housing had never been made public before.
“We can have different ways of counting”, she defended herself, with reference to the count of the Journal, which lists only the housing built.
Moreover, the City added in its revision yesterday other affordable housing units that have not yet been built, including 46 for the Les Loges project, located near the Assomption metro station.
The different phases of this project should break ground in 2023 and 2024. And according to the prices displayed on the promoter's website, there will be no affordable housing.
“The reality is really not what the administration is announcing. It's dishonest and it's downright lying to the people of Montreal, ”reacted the leader of the official opposition, Aref Salem.
Salem says the city shouldn't count homeownership grants on its balance sheet the way it has.
“We subsidize the retention in town of a family who wants to buy in Montreal. We are not making home ownership more affordable. We are far from social housing. To see that these figures have been put in there, it is shameful and unacceptable, ”he judges.
He says he hopes the Auditor General will look into the file “in more depth”.