Diverse Metropolis Regulation


Diverse Metropolis Regulation

Mismatches Diversity
Policies and regulations Local policies Planning
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships
Ownership and tenure

Main objectives of the project

Montreal, Canada, implements a new regulation to have affordable housing, the Diverse Metropolis Regulation. The main goal of the regulation is that all the projects done in “affordable zones” (a new zoning category) must reach an agreement with the city to enhance social and affordable housing. Preserving the diversity of our neighborhoods and promoting access to suitable housing for all: this is the objective set by the City of Montreal with its Regulations for a mixed metropolis.


  • 2021: Implementation


  • Montreal


Continent: North America
Country/Region: Canada, Montreal


Montreal wanted to foster more mixed communities. However, in its planning legal framework, the private initiative has a lot of power. Thus, agreements with promoters must be reached in order to have affordable housing and a diverse typology of housing units. For this reason, in 2021, they enforced a new planning regulation on certain areas of the city. Any person who carries out a project involving the addition of at least 1 dwelling and a residential surface area exceeding the threshold set in the Regulation must enter into an agreement with the City in order to contribute to the supply of social, affordable and family housing. This may be a new building, an extension or the conversion of a building.
The threshold set in the Regulation is 450 m² of added residential area (equivalent to approximately 5 housing units). However, until December 31, 2026, the threshold is temporarily increased to 1,800 m² (equivalent to approximately 20 housing units) in order to take into account the economic context. After this period, the threshold will be restored to 450 m².

Contributions are made either for social housing (any dwelling unit owned by a non-profit organization, cooperative, government or paramunicipal corporation that is intended for people with special housing needs or households with low or modest incomes) or affordable housing (dwelling unit, not necessarily owned by non-profits or municipality, for which the selling price or rent is subject to a commitment of at least a 20-year period). The percentage going into affordable housing is between 10 to 20% of the project. Then you must add the social contribution depending on the surface of land.

The affordable contribution of the project is agreed with the city and has three main ways to be fulfilled: the creation of affordable housing by the promoter; the sale of a building to the city, which can take the form of the sale of an existing rental building or vacant land; a financial contribution: the contribution varies depending on the size of the project and the sector in which it takes place. A combination of the three is also possible. In the case of social housing, a portion of land must be selled to the city or made a financial contribution.

The new regulation is an innovative way to generate mixed communities in a market-driven development scheme. Using the legal tools of planning, the municipality enhanced social housing and affordability in different typologies of buildings.