Plan d'action de lutte à l'insalubrité des logements 2014-2017 - The City of Montreal tackles sanitation issues and builds on a comprehensive approach which includes owner responsibility

MONTRÉAL, May 28, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mayor of Montréal, Denis Coderre, and Russell Copeman, member of the Montréal Executive Committee, responsible for housing, today announced the adoption, by the Executive Committee, of the Plan d'action de lutte à l'insalubrité des logements 2014-2017 (action plan to combat substandard housing). This plan will help to improve living conditions for tenants and housing quality by having owners bear the responsibility for sanitation problems.

"Housing sanitation is a major issue for our administration. Sanitation problems have a proven impact on the health and safety of the community. It degrades the quality of neighbourhoods, marginalizes buildings and fosters stigmatization among occupants. Insalubrity also has a negative effect on property value and on the image of Montréal and its neighbourhoods. It is for these humanitarian, social and economic reasons that the city plans to continue and intensify its measures to tackle insalubrity, with the help of the boroughs," said Mayor Coderre.

"The City of Montreal's combined efforts with the city's Direction de l'habitation, resulted in approximately 70,000 inspections and re-inspections in 2008-2013. This represents 37,000 dwellings, or approximately 8% of the Montréal rental housing units. Each year, during that same period, two-thirds of the files that were opened were processed successfully. In this context, the Plan d'action de lutte à l'insalubrité des logements 2014-2017 will provide a comprehensive and concerted approach to guide municipal action over the next four years," said Russell Copeman.

The action plan to combat insalubrity is based on five guiding principles that will orient city actions for 2014-2017:

  1. Require owners to take corrective measures: Using this principle of accountability, the city intends to make owners responsible for sanitation issues. The owners will be required to implement the necessary corrective measures, so that their buildings meet the minimum habitability standards required by law.
  2. Encourage owners to make improvements to their dwelling units: Beyond strict upgrading efforts provided for in the by-law, financial assistance programs may encourage owners to make improvements to their dwellings. Supervision of property owners is planned to make sure that the quality standards in the programs are met.
  3. Take action against delinquent owners: Montréal will resort to a series of coercive measures on a case-by-case basis. This series of measures or tools includes statements of offence and fines, eviction notices, completion of repairs in lieu and place of the delinquent owner and notice of deterioration entered on the land registry.
  4. Support tenants: Actions aimed at keeping tenants informed and adequately assisting them through working with partners, including the Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal and the health network.
  5. Avoid stigmatization: City actions must not provoke or aggravate stigmatization within the community and neighbourhoods with sanitation issues.

The Plan d'action de lutte à l'insalubrité des logements 2014-2017 is based on four elements:

Element 1 - Strengthen the current intervention strategy: The plan aims at improving coordination among key players, government partners and the civil society. Beyond assessing and strengthening current tools, Element 1 includes the search for new intervention measures, including seizing the building. Improving diagnosis of mould problems and taking over severe cases by the Direction de l'habitation are also part of this first element.

Element 2 - Develop a proactive strategy: Identify risks and improve the dissemination of information—not only on the dangers involving sanitation issues, but also on sound maintenance practices—to prevent sanitation problems. A list of at-risk buildings will be drawn up and used to establish inspection targets.

Element 3 - Intensify measures to tackle bedbugs: Beyond strong communication efforts, especially as the moving period approaches, measures to help prepare dwellings for extermination, as well as tighter supervision of extermination practices are being considered. The innovative experience currently in effect at the Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal regarding the preparation of housing units before extermination takes place will continue and be used for recommendations.

Element 4 -  Strict monitoring: Continuous and mapped data will make it easier to report to elected officials and the community.

For more information on the Plan d'action de lutte à l'insalubrité des logements 2014-2017, please call 514 872-4630 or visit ville.montreal.qc.ca/habitation.

SOURCE: Ville de Montréal - Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif

For further information:

Source:
Andrée-Anne Toussaint
Press Attaché
Office of the Mayor and Executive Committee
514 243-1268

Information:
François Goneau
Service des communications
514 868-5859

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Ville de Montréal - Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif

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