2021 City Snapshots: Affordable Housing

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Thank you for visiting City Snapshots. The question period concluded Oct. 24, 2021. Please visit other information on this page and contact the City if you have any questions.

Did you know the City has an Affordable Housing Strategy to encourage housing for all? Learn about this and more:

  • click the image below for a snapshot
  • click the links provided on this page for more in-depth details

Did you know the City has an Affordable Housing Strategy to encourage housing for all? Learn about this and more:

  • click the image below for a snapshot
  • click the links provided on this page for more in-depth details

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

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    It seems that members of the public and Richmond City staff have different definitions of affordable housing. One example given, Alderbridge Supportive Housing, houses people who have been homeless and living on the street, and is certainly needed. The Kiwanis Towers replaced older existing housing for seniors who were known to have low incomes. However, there are many, many others, singles and families, many with decent incomes, who need a place to live but can’t afford $500,000 to a million dollars or more for housing. Where is the middle income housing? It is well known that young people who grew up in Richmond can’t afford to live here. Whether it’s rental, coop, townhouses or condos, there is a huge need for housing that working people can afford. On a related topic: a number of years ago, there was a proposal to rezone single family neighbourhoods into triple density: a main dwelling with a suite plus a coach house. This was highly unpopular and we fought the idea. However, now it is clear that almost every older home that is sold is demolished and replaced with a giant multi-million dwelling. In many cases, these older homes have suites, so for most older homes demolished, there is a loss of two dwellings, not just one. The construction of huge houses has turned our neighbourhoods into property banks for the rich. Many giant houses sit empty, and have been vacant for years. It would be better to at least have a suite in each new mansion so that a part of each giant house could be rented to someone. Better still, we should revisit the idea of triple density on each lot so that middle income families have an opportunity to live in neighourhood housing.

    Terraone asked 7 months ago

    City of Richmond reply: Thank you for your comment. The City is committed to addressing the affordable housing needs of moderate income as well as low income households through City regulatory tools and policies. To preserve and secure market rental housing for moderate income households, the City has adopted a Market Rental policy that aims to protect existing rental stock and that encourages the development of new purpose-built rental housing units. To encourage greater density throughout Richmond neighbourhoods, City policies such as the Arterial Road Land Use policy support higher density built forms such as townhouses, triplexes, and duplexes along major roads, and the City’s Zoning Bylaw permits secondary suites within single family dwellings. 

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    Any thoughts to building container homes or Tiny homes in Richmond? Saw a container apartment block along E Hastings in Vancouver.

    takemehome asked 7 months ago

    City of Richmond reply: Thank you for your question. On an ongoing basis, the City works with various partners, including non-profit organizations and for-profit developers, to explore innovate housing models and construction methods. Example projects include the Alderbridge Supportive Housing development, which used modular construction methods to provide housing for Richmond residents experiencing homelessness.

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    Do you have a plan for stable family rental units for middle income families unable to buy a home in this market? As a renter with a family that needs four bedrooms it is destabilizing to be forced to move every 2 to 4 years even though we can afford rent. Renting in this market is depressing and unstable. How about working to make it a positive, stable, way to live? The co-op model is a good one, evidenced by how impossible it is to get into one!

    Keileen asked 7 months ago

    City of Richmond reply: Thank you for your question. The City is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing in Richmond and since 2007 has worked to secure over 1,500 new units of affordable housing. These units include over 900 Low End Market Rental units as well an additional 600 units of nonmarket housing in developments such as Storeys and Kiwanis Towers. 

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    I heard that there is going to be a tower in the new Richmond Centre condo developments that will be designated as affordable housing. Is this true? It wasn't mentioned in the snapshots.

    CLynn asked 7 months ago

    City of Richmond reply: Thank you for your question. In July 2020, City Council approved the 2-phase redevelopment of the south end of CF Richmond Centre (generally south of Cook Road), including a mix of affordable low-end-market-rental (LEMR) housing, market rental units, condominium units, ground floor retail, and new streets and plazas. Construction of the development’s first phase, near Minoru Boulevard, is scheduled to begin construction in 2021, including a 79-unit affordable (LEMR) housing tower. The development’s second phase, near No. 3 Road, will begin construction once the first phase nears completion and will include at least 62 affordable (LEMR) housing units and at least 200 market rental units. 

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    Considering Richmond's growth, 900 affordable housing units since 2007 is an embarrassing low number--roughly 64 rental housing units per year. Is Richmond unable to provide a larger number? (Perhaps by making non-negotiable, or non-tradable agreements with developers; i.e., no renegotiating affordable units for green space, etc., which has led to "manipulated" promises by some developers in the past.)

    esme18 asked 7 months ago

    City of Richmond reply: Thanks for the question. The City is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing in Richmond and since 2007 has worked to secure over 1,500 new units of affordable housing. These units include over 900 Low End Market Rental units as well an additional 600 units of nonmarket housing in developments such as Storeys and Kiwanis Towers. 

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    What is the total amount of funds in the Affordable Housing Reserve Fund and how would one access these funds?

    dewhalen asked 7 months ago

    City of Richmond reply: Thank you for the question. There is approximately $3.5 million currently available in the the City's Affordable Housing Capital Reserve Fund. These funds have been secured through cash-in-lieu contributions from new developments. The City leverages the use of City-owned land and these capital funds to secure additional grant funding from senior levels of government to increase the supply of new non-market affordable housing. 

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    We need more coop housing in Richmond, affordable housing for people who work hard, have good jobs like teachers, who make a modest middle income and cannot afford to buy anything in Richmond so are forced to rent and will never be able to buy even with good incomes. Co-op housing is affordable housing for these people who may or may not have families, but most likely are trying to raise a family Let’s take care of the hard working family middle class

    Ej asked 7 months ago

    City of Richmond reply: Thank you for your comment. While new co-op housing has not been constructed in Richmond in recent years, the City continues to explore opportunities to support co-op housing organizations, including those considering redevelopment.
     The City continues to work to preserve and secure market rental housing for moderate income families through policy that aims to protect existing rental stock and that encourages the development of new purpose-built rental housing units.

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    Why there not more projects like Kiwanis Towers? 2015 is a long time ago. Why is there nothing about COOP housing initiatives.

    Handel11 asked 8 months ago

    City of Richmond reply: The City continues to work in partnership with the federal and provincial governments to increase the supply of affordable housing in Richmond. Current and recent developments include the Alderbridge and Bridgeport Supportive Housing buildings. Another upcoming development is the Pathways Affordable Housing building, which will secure 80 units of affordable housing for both low-income and moderate income households. On an ongoing basis, the City also delivers the Low End Market Rental program, which has secured more than 900 affordable housing units since 2007.

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    Affordable housing misses the issue bothering many residents, which is that my children cannot afford to live in Richmond. We need to have small units that are affordable for working couples with walking-distance to restaurants, services and parks.

    jkg asked 8 months ago

    City of Richmond reply: Thanks for your comment. The City recognizes that affordable housing is a key component of a diverse and inclusive community, and has secured more than 1,500 affordable housing units since 2007. Current City initiatives include delivering the Low End Market Rental program, securing affordable housing buildings in partnership with the federal and provincial governments, and the implementing the Market Rental Policy. Through these initiatives, the City remains committed to meeting the diverse housing needs of Richmond residents.

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    What about a plan for affordable family housing and zoning and building new co-op housing?

    QueenieH asked 8 months ago

    City of Richmond reply: Guided by the Affordable Housing Strategy 2017-2027, we're committed to playing a leadership role to increase the supply of affordable housing, including family-friendly housing, in Richmond. The City’s Low End Market Rental (LEMR) program requires that 20% of LEMR units be secured as family-friendly two and three bedroom units for low to moderate income families, and has secured almost 500 family-friendly units to date. The Pathways Affordable Housing building, which will secure 80 units of affordable housing, will also include units for low-income and moderate income families. The City continues to explore opportunities to support co-op housing organizations considering redevelopment and to provide a range of affordable housing options for Richmond residents.