Source: CMHC Rental Market Survey, October 2022
Housing: time to think outside the box
Published 2:22 PDT, Fri September 29, 2023
Last Updated: 2:25 PDT, Fri September 29, 2023
In their own words…
A lack of affordable rental housing has become a crisis throughout the region. In response, Council recently approved projects to increase that supply, fast tracking proposals for purpose-built rentals in new developments in City Centre. In addition, I have heard loud and clear that densifying around existing commercial centers is something many people want if it improves rental supply.
An example is the new commercial/residential building at the corner of Williams and No. 3 Road. By combining services that the citizens of Richmond need with new rental housing, we accomplish several goals. One is creating jobs and services where people live to encourage people to use public transit or other active transportation rather than cars. Another is that by adding new rental housing, we can potentially free up older, more affordable units to give lower income renters a chance to get into the rental market.
But what else can we do? It’s time to think outside the box and here are a few ideas.
• Fast track building new “Rent to Own” condos to help people enter the housing market.
• Build new seniors rental buildings with both affordable and market rental rates to free up their homes and provide Richmond seniors the opportunity to live in a community with the benefits of assisted living and other services. This will also free up their homes to younger buyers.
• Work with developers to create purpose built rental housing which can be sold to pension funds for long term income streams, addressing our housing crisis and making the best use of available land.
• Encourage front and back duplexes on arterial roads to allow for lower priced home ownership options.
• Educate home owners about the option to build secondary suites in existing homes as mortgage helpers and/or maintenance assistance for seniors.
As a community, we can work to support each other by better understanding the requirements and potential benefits of secondary suites or shared accommodation. The City will continue to identify and shut down illegal short-term rentals to free up more permanent homes for Richmond residents, and welcomes the public’s help in reporting such locations to our Bylaws team. If you know of an illegal short-term rental, please share the information and any evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-276-4345.
As the graph shows, Richmond has one of the lowest vacancy rates in Metro Vancouver at 0.5 per cent. Council and City staff will, with support from the community and partners, continue to work to change that number. As a member of Council and concerned resident, I am committed to doing everything I can to help.