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Facing eviction, Hampstead affordable housing residents offered deal by developer

Malen Capital held a meeting behind closed doors with its Hampstead tenants. Thursday November 21st, 2019. Sylvain Trudeau / Global News

Town of Hamsptead residents facing eviction from an affordable housing building on Côte Saint Luc road, slated for luxury condos, have been offered a deal by the developer.

The developer, Malen Capital, held a meeting behind closed doors with the two tenants who attended.

Developers are offering to double the penalty fees for evicting their tenants from three to six months worth of rent.

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

They also promised to offer the rent of several apartments within the new complex at a lower price.

In addition, Malen Capital’s Mitchell Abrahams says they’re working with local affordable housing to offer priority to their tenants.

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Hampstead residents to decide on future condo development project – Oct 31, 2019

“We just thought that before there was a decision — one way or the other through a referendum — we should put it in writing to them, and make them feel comfortable that we’re trying to make a gesture that was fair to them,” Abrahams explained.

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The fate of the affordable apartments has divided the Hampstead community.

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

Mayor William Steinberg says he is strongly in favour of the development project as it will revitalize what he calls a run-down area.

But tenants like Marie Pontini say the project is forcing people out of homes they can afford and they won’t be able to find anything comparable.

Pontini represented other tenants who she says weren’t able to come since they received the invitation at the last minute.

“For some neighbours, that might be interesting but it doesn’t count all the aspects of that issue,” she said.

“At this point, it’s not only this project, it’s a precedent that we are setting. So even if this does not look so bad, it’s still a wall that we’re going to build on Côte Saint-Luc [Road] if this goes through.”
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Hampstead mayor on the defensive over demolition project – Jul 17, 2019

The referendum to decide the fate of the building will take place Sunday, Nov. 24.

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If passed, tenants would have to leave their homes by January 2021.

— With files from Global’s Amanda Jelowicki and Phil Carpenter

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