Hamp­stead pro­ject makes sense

Montreal Gazette - - Opinion -

Re: “No room on the mar­gins in Hamp­stead”

(Allison Hanes, Aug. 7)

I was dis­tressed to read the col­umn by Allison Hanes, which seems based on a shal­low anal­y­sis.

How long should we wait as the build­ing stock on CôteSt-Luc Rd. de­cays be­fore we al­low new de­vel­op­ment of ar­chi­tec­turally beau­ti­ful prop­er­ties?

Hanes says we will lose 26 af­ford­able hous­ing units to be re­placed by 90 mod­ern units. How­ever, a num­ber of the bet­ter-off ten­ants (not all are low-in­come) along Côte-StLuc Rd. will con­sider mov­ing to the new de­vel­op­ment. When that hap­pens, more af­ford­able apart­ments in the older build­ings will be­come avail­able and that will put down­ward pres­sure on the rents of all the apart­ments along Côte-St-Luc Rd. We will end up with more af­ford­able hous­ing, not less.

For sin­gles and young fam­i­lies who want to live in Hamp­stead but can’t af­ford the ex­pen­sive prop­er­ties, this new de­vel­op­ment will pro­vide a mid­dle ground be­tween su­per ex­pen­sive and very cheap. More res­i­dents will bring more vi­tal­ity to Hamp­stead.

I make no apolo­gies for seek­ing more tax rev­enue for projects that we could other­wise not af­ford with­out dra­matic tax in­creases.

The de­vel­op­ers can de­fend their ex­cel­lent rep­u­ta­tion, but I note that they have made ar­range­ments with man­agers of many prop­er­ties in the area. Th­ese build­ings, with af­ford­able rents, will of­fer any units that be­come avail­able to the de­part­ing ten­ants prior to ad­ver­tis­ing the va­can­cies pub­licly.

Nor­mally, 100 to 200 units are va­cated each year in th­ese prop­er­ties. Con­trary to Hanes’s as­ser­tion that the ten­ants “will most likely be scat­tered to the wind and ex­iled from Hamp­stead,” many will find new homes in Hamp­stead or very close by. Bill Stein­berg, Mayor, Town of Hamp­stead

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.