This action-research project was initiated by a recently created social innovation unit of the Montréal municipal housing office (Office municipal d’habitation or OMHM). It aims to develop a social innovation effort as part of the project to remodel the Saint-Michel North housing project and subsequent relocation of tenants. All parties are involved in the undertaking, including tenants of the housing project, OMHM employees, and public and community partner organizations. Cité-ID is accompanying and documenting the OMHM initiative in order to identify organizational mechanisms established by the OMHM and other stakeholders to create the conditions required for a healthy, safe, harmonious, open and resilient living environment.
In 1971, seeking to relocate households evicted as a result of major city works projects, the OMHM built 185 social housing units (for 600 residents) that are now called the Saint-Michel North Housing Project (Habitations Saint-Michel Nord). At the time, construction sparked broad debate, notably among public decision-makers, around risks of ghettoization and stigmatization.
Forty years later, the OMHM decided to undertake a major renovations to preserve to preserve the buildings that had become obsolete (due to the aging of the population). It was at this point that the OMHM put in place a social innovation initiative with its employees and other actors involved in the Saint-Michel North Housing Project. The operation has two main objectives: to preserve the quality of the buildings and to provide a living environment that is safer, more harmonious, open and resilient.
As part of this project, the Cité-ID Living Lab will co-construct organizational mechanisms with stakeholders and test their ability in real-life conditions to achieve these two objectives.
We wish to also thank Nicolas Merveille, Professor at the Department of Strategy, Social and Environmental Responsibility at the Université du Québec à Montréal and Lynda Rey, Professor at the École nationale d’administration publique for their collaboration in this project.