Housing activists who have their eye on the Hôtel-Dieu hospital, a crown jewel of Montreal’s heritage that could be soon transferred to the city, were given some notes of reassurance from the mayor and urban planning chief Monday.

Nathan McDonnell, a member of the Milton Park Citizen’s Committee that helps to manage the city’s largest co-operative housing site, a six-block sprawl of buildings in downtown Montreal inhabited by 1,500 mixed-income residents who own and manage the community, asked during city council question period if a similar governance structure could be in the cards for the Hôtel-Dieu hospital.

“I truly believe that we should do better with social housing in that area, we believe in that,” Mayor Denis Coderre said. But for the moment the institution’s future is still in the hands of the province, Coderre said.