Diverse metropolis: An overview of the by-law

Last updated May 30, 2023
Reading time: 2 min

Preserving the diverse character of our neighbourhoods and promoting access to adequate housing for everyone is the objective of the city’s By-law for a Diverse Metropolis which came into force on April 1, 2021.

From now on, anyone who is developing a project that involves adding at least one dwelling with a residential area greater than 450 m2 (equivalent to approximately 5 dwellings) must sign an agreement with the city to contribute to its supply of social, affordable and family housing. The project can be a new building, an expansion or a conversion.

Some exemptions are provided for in the by-law, including residential projects for seniors or students. For more details, please see the Technical Guide.

Definitions: Types of housing

For the purposes of the by-law, a social housing unit is a home whose construction costs are subsidized by the city or the government of Québec.

Social and community housing is developed by cooperatives, non-profit organizations and the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal.

Affordable housing, which is different from social housing, targets a diverse array of households whose needs aren’t met by the private market. To provide households with these homes, the by-law combines a discount on the market value offered by the developer with various housing subsidy programs that will maintain its long-term affordability.

For the purposes of the by-law, a family housing unit is a home with at least five rooms, including three bedrooms and a residential area that provides sufficient living space for a family.

A family home can be social, affordable or market price.

Developer’s contribution

The developer’s contribution depends on the scope and location of the project. It can take a number of forms, including:

  • Creating social, affordable and family housing through your project
  • Transferring land or a building in exchange for a financial contribution
  • A financial contribution

Learn more about the by-law

Do you have a project?

As for any residential project, you must visit the permit counter in the borough where the project will be created. The permit counter staff will help you with the procedures and answer your questions.

To begin the project, complete the project sheet. See the explanatory video and technical guide below to understand the key concepts in the sheet.

The project sheet is required for all permit applications for projects that involve the addition of at least one dwelling.

Online service

Would you like to know which requirements apply to your project?
Find out how to use our contribution calculation tool.

In step with the Inclusion Strategy

The By-law for a Diverse Metropolis aligns closely with the Strategy for the inclusion of affordable housing in new residential projects, which it replaces. The by-law corrects the strategy’s limitations, notably regarding the projects to which it applies and its incentive-driven character. For an overview of the benefits of the strategy, in force from 2005 to 2021, please view the final report.