Housing policies and Montreal’s neighbourhoods: Social mix or social exclusion?


  • Hélène Bélanger Département d’études urbaines et touristiques, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Renaud Goyer Département de sociologie, Université de Montréal


Housing, Inclusionary zoning, Collective action, Montreal


Different housing initiatives, policies and programs favouring or impacting social mix at the neighbourhood level exist in Canadian cities, including in the city of Montreal. Social mix was (and still is) part of the political discourse along with local planning practices as a means of including the most deprived and marginalized populations within the urban space through social housing. With the aim of developing a more inclusive city, the local administration has recently adopted an inclusionary zoning by-law which was received positively by scholars and housing advocates, although the considerable criticism for its limited scope. Inspired by a constructivist analysis of public and social policies and based on a study of collective identity of housing groups using document analysis, the goal of this paper is to explore how urban social movements evaluate this housing policy, and how, despite the policy objective of inclusiveness, it cannot satisfactorily address core housing needs of disadvantaged populations.