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Politics

Date set for referendum on controversial Hampstead housing development

One of the affordable housing complexes whose fate could be impacted by the referendum is located on Côte Saint-Luc Road.
One of the affordable housing complexes whose fate could be impacted by the referendum is located on Côte Saint-Luc Road. Global News

A date has been set for a referendum on a controversial housing development project in Hampstead on the Island of Montreal.

Town officials confirmed the vote will take place on Nov. 24. This comes after 250 people signed a public register last week in favour of the action.

READ MORE: Controversial housing demolition in Hampstead to go to referendum

Laurie Kezas, communications officer for the Town of Hampstead, told Global News that about 2,000 people — all residents in the neighbourhood where the proposed development would be built — are qualified to vote in the referendum.

“If approved by 50 per cent of the voters, a 10-storey building with 90 apartments will be built on Côte Saint-Luc Road,” she said.

Hampstead to hold referendum on housing project
Hampstead to hold referendum on housing project
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The referendum results will decide the fate of two affordable apartment buildings on Côte Saint-Luc Road that could be torn down in favour of constructing luxury apartments.

“That is the scary part of my situation,” Clarita Llobrera, who lives in one of the buildings with her 86-year-old husband, told Global News last week. “We don’t know where to go.”

READ MORE: Tensions boil as residents continue fight against Hampstead demolition project

It’s a project that has divided the Hampstead community for months — some who support the idea of keeping residents in their affordable homes and others who claim they don’t want to live “near poor people.”

Hampstead tenants mount legal challenge following ‘illegal’ vote in favour of demolition
Hampstead tenants mount legal challenge following ‘illegal’ vote in favour of demolition

Mayor William Steinberg has long shown support for the development, arguing it will revitalize an area he considers to be rundown.

He vetoed council’s decision not to demolish the complex in July and broke a tie in August by voting in favour of the project, claiming the town needs the revenue.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a lot of tax revenue’ — Hampstead mayor reiterates support for housing demolition project

The developers, Mitchell Abrahams and Mitchell Moss, have promised to help relocate affected residents to other affordable units in the area.

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Hampstead mayor on the defensive over demolition project
Hampstead mayor on the defensive over demolition project
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