Hampstead postpones decision on demolition request for affordable housing complex

Hampstead residents gather at a special demolition meeting. Global News

A decision on a contentious request to tear down an affordable housing complex in Hampstead has been delayed until the town council receives more information about the project.

“We are deferring this because we do not have enough information to make an educated, proper decision about this demolition,” said town councillor Michael Goldwax on Wednesday.

The owner of two buildings on Côte Saint-Luc Road sought a demolition request as part of a plan to rip down the existing complex and replace it with luxury apartments in the area.

READ MORE: Hampstead tenants in affordable housing worry about plans to demolish building

The two apartment buildings, which are almost 70 years old, are comprised of 26 units. Tenants like Marie Pontini say they are worried about finding an affordable alternative if they are forced out of their homes.

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“It’s huge and you’re losing the community and the support,” she said.

Goldwax explained on Wednesday that one of the reasons why the town council decided to delay their decision on the demolition request is because it needs more information.

While the developer has said it will help tenants move, Goldwax said Hampstead needs more details about how current tenants would be compensated and relocated if the project gets the green light.

“There are many things we do not have,” said Goldwax.

READ MORE: Montreal unveils new housing plan to help low-income earners

Jonathan Goldbloom, a spokesperson for the developer said last week they would help residents find new homes. Goldbloom said he respects the delay.

“I think it was a legitimate response that people want to know more about what their futures hold if the project is approved,” he said.

If the demolition is approved, the developer will then present details of the new project publicly at a July 15 meeting.

Felicia Tremblay de la Guardia, who has lived at the complex for more than 30 years, has no plans to move from her home. The fight to save the tenants from eviction, she said, isn’t over.

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“I think we are going to let the dust fall a little bit because of the emotions,” she said. “After that we are going to see how we are going to attack because we don’t want to give up, for sure. These people, the residents don’t want to give up.”

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— With files from Global News’ Gloria Henriquez and Phil Carpenter

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