Housing

Affordable Housing Strategy

Lets Talk Richmond Affordable Housing StrategyCity Council approved Richmond's Affordable Housing Strategy on May 28, 2007.

Access to safe, affordable and appropriate housing is essential for building strong, safe and healthy communities.

In developing this Strategy, the City of Richmond has recognized the importance of ensuring that all residents have access to suitable and appropriate housing with the necessary community supports to serve the needs of a diverse population.

Update
The city of Richmond is updating its Affordable Housing Strategy.  Visit www.LetsTalkRichmond.ca to have your say on the Affordable Housing Strategy Update.
Affordable Housing Strategy Update Timeline
PDF Document Affordable Housing Strategy Update

Vision
The affordable housing needs of a diverse population are met by the City managing its resources in partnership with the private sector, local groups, agencies and other levels of government.

Goals & Objectives
The City recognizes that it will not be able to solve housing affordability needs alone, but that the City can assist in the solution. 

A central focus of this Strategy is to ensure the City is successful in providing a range of housing options for households of different ages, family types and incomes.

The Affordable Housing Strategy defines:

  • recommendations, policies, directions, priorities, definitions and annual targets for affordable housing.
  • the City’s three key priorities to address the need for affordable housing in Richmond, as outlined in the table below.

Priority Affordable
Housing Type
Household Annual Income Threshold
1st Subsidized Rental $34,000 or less
2nd Low End Market Rental between $34,000 or less and $57,500 or less
3rd Entry Level
Homeownership
less than $60,000
How the City Defines Affordable
The City follows the practice widely adopted in North America and Commonwealth countries to define when housing is affordable. It is when tenants/owners do not have to spend more than 30 per cent of their gross income on housing costs (excluding utility fees, telephone, internet, cablevision and the like).

Progress in Implementing the Strategy
The following table summarizes the 1,392 housing units that have been secured in Richmond through the Affordable Housing Strategy, as of March 31, 2016.

Total Units Subsidized Rentals Low-end Market Rentals Market Rentals Secondary Suites & Coach Houses Entry Level Home Ownership 
1,392 477 320
411  165 19 
The Housing Continuum
Affordability challenges will not be resolved through short-term interventions. Effective solutions are the result of long-term, stable policies and strategic planning that enables an expanded range of housing options at key points along the housing continuum.
Affordable Housing Continuum

Priority 1: Subsidized Rental Housing
As of March2016, the City has secured 477 subsidized housing units. Since the Affordable Housing Strategy was adopted in 2007, consistent senior government funding for affordable housing has significantly decreased. These are the households who are most in need. This poses the greatest challenge to creating subsidized rental units because:

  •  these cost more to operate
  • require larger equity up front in order to reduce rents to levels that low income households can afford.
  • These units are intended to provide rental accommodations and service connections for those households with low income who are often in need.

The City is responding by continuing to refine its Affordable Housing Strategy and policies relating to its capital and operating Affordable Housing Reserve Funds, so that the City may provide financial assistance to Affordable Housing Special Development Circumstance projects that meet stringent criteria for creating subsidized, programmed rental housing for specific populations in need.

The City continues to work with other levels of government, the non-profit sector, and the private sector in order to achieve its targets.  While the City has multiple tools and resources that it can contribute towards creating a wide variety of affordable housing options, it requires the valuable input of community members in order to achieve its goals.

# of Units Subsidized Rental Projects
296 Kiwanis Towers
  • seniors rental housing units in two 15-story buildings
  • 7378 + 7388 Gollner Ave
15 Cressey
  • 15 rental units to support lone-parent families gaining self-sufficiency
  • 5640 Hollybridge Way
129 Storeys (5 non-profits)
  • affordable rental housing and programmed community amenity space
  • 8111 Granville Avenue / 8080 Anderson Road
20 Concord
  • Arts rental housing
  • Patterson Road / Sexsmith Road
 17  Pinnacle ARTS

Priority 2: Low End of Market Rentals
The City has secured 320 Low End Market Rental (LEMR) units. An additional 119,069 ft2 of floor space has been secured in large phased market developments, to be sorted into units when each phase applies for a Development Permit..

To ensure that affordable LEMR units are built, the City has adopted an inclusionary zoning approach that offers a density bonus for all multi-family and single family residential rezoning applications received since July 1, 2007. In exchange for the increased density proposed as part of a rezoning application, multi-family or mixed-used developments containing more than 80 residential units must build at least five per cent of total residential building area as LEMR units, with a minimum 4 units, secured in perpetuity with a Housing Agreement registered on title.

Priority 3: Entry Level Ownership
The City has secured 19 entry level ownership units. The City’s current focus is on the 1st and 2nd priorities identified above. However, the City welcomes community input on this 3rd priority as we create new policy in this regard and as we make further progress on affordable rental housing.

Documents Relating to the Affordable Housing Strategy
The following information is available for public viewing in PDF format.

Bulletins

 *Richmond Affordable Housing Strategy No.: INFO-21 (Revised September 22, 2015)

 News Releases

18-Dec-13 Richmond Council Provides Financial Commitments for more than 400 New Affordable Housing Units
03-Apr-13 $60-Million Affordable Housing Development Breaks Ground in Richmond
03-Apr-12 Societies Selected for New Affordable Housing Project

Council Reports

09-Dec-13 Council Meeting Minutes
PDF Document Report to Council: Kiwanis Towers - First Disbursement from the Affordable Housing Reserve Fund to 6251 Minoru Blvd. Page CNCL-188
11-Mar-13 Council Meeting Minutes
PDF Document Report to Council: Affordable housing Strategy - Affordable Housing Special Development Circumstances Proposed Requirements
28-May-07 Council Meeting Minutes
PDF Document Report to Council: Richmond Affordable Housing Strategy

Richmond Affordable Housing Strategy

PDF Document Richmond Affordable Housing Strategy
PDF Document Report to Council re: Richmond Affordable Housing Strategy
PDF Document Affordable Housing Strategy Bulletin - Information 21
Appendix 1: PDF Document Results from the Stakeholder Consultations, Public Open House Meetings and Written Submissions
Appendix 2: PDF Document Minutes from Planning Committee and City Council
Appendix 3: PDF Document Background Materials and Key Measures and Indicators
Appendix 4: PDF Document Interim Reports, Draft Strategies and Draft Reports

Contact
For more information or to discuss a possible affordable housing initiative, please contact:

Joyce Rautenberg, Affordable Housing Coordinator
Community Social Development
Phone: 604-247-4916
Email: Joyce.Rautenberg@richmond.ca

Address:
6911 No. 3 Road
Richmond, BC V6Y 2C1

Related pages for this topic
Social Development Strategy
Housing