Montreal

City of Montreal to hire 13 new inspectors to crack down on unsanitary housing

The City of Montreal will soon almost double its number of housing inspectors, from 17 to 30, as a way to crack down on poor building conditions and unsanitary housing.

Valérie Plante administration’s 1st budget earmarks $1M for city-wide team of inspectors

The rotting ceilings in some units of of a housing co-op on Barclay Avenue in Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce make the units not fit for habitation. (CBC)

The City of Montreal will soon almost double its number of housing inspectors, from 17 to 30, as a way to crack down on poor building conditions and unsanitary housing.

When Mayor Valérie Plante tables her first budget Wednesday, it will put $1 million toward teams of inspectors.

During the election campaign last fall, Plante vowed to both expand the city's supply of social housing and improve its existing stock of affordable units.

Magda Popeanu, the city's executive committee member in charge of housing, said 60 per cent of Montrealers are renters.

"So for us it's very important to keep these houses in very good shape to protect the quality of life for people living in rental housing," Popeanu said. "Thirteen new positions will be added to 17 already existing position, for a total of 30...These teams will be in charge of sanitary housing."

Magda Popeanu, Montreal's executive committee member in charge of housing, says given that the majority of Montrealers are renters, it's important rental buildings are in good condition. (CBC)
Popeanu said that rental buildings in the city will be coded, and then inspectors will visit the buildings and the units. Multiple visits could mean hefty fines for landlords.

"When the city inspectors come the second and the third time and the problem is not solved, the owners will pay," Popeanu said.

"All the time we talk about slumlords…so for us it's very important to invest the money and the effort to create a proper environment."

One housing advocate group says it applauds the decision to hire new inspectors, but wants to see more done immediately.

"They need to apply, more forcefully, the regulations that already exist. It's good to put more money in, but then, they already have all the tools they have," said Maxime Roy-Allard of the Coalition of Housing Committees (RCLALQ).

Roy-Allard added that landlords should be fined as soon as they violate the rules.

With files from CBC reporter Kate McKenna

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