Affordable Housing Strategy

The City is currently updating its Affordable Housing Strategy. Please see below for updates. 

Townhome photoThe Affordable Housing Strategy, adopted by Council on May 28, 2007, was first created to respond to residents’ need for access to safe, affordable and appropriate housing. The central focus of the Affordable Housing Strategy is to ensure the City is successful in providing a range of housing option for households of different ages, family types and incomes, by:

  • policy development
  • secure unit and cash contributions by developers
  • providing land, space or funding
  • fostering collaboration and establish partnerships
  • engaging with the community

The Strategy identifies three priority areas:

  • Subsidized Housing
  • Low End Market Rental
  • Entry Level Ownership

The City continues to work with other levels of government, the non-profit and private sectors to achieve its targets. The existing Affordable Housing Strategy has been instrumental in the creation of over 1,300 units and has helped provide significant financial contribution to support the development of Richmond Kiwanis Towers and Storeys projects (construction completion: Spring 2017).

Priority 1: Subsidized (Non-Market) Rental
Subsidized housing is a form of non-market housing. Subsidized housing is often funded by senior government, is managed by non-profit groups and provides affordable rental units for households requiring deep subsidies. In Richmond, subsidized housing refers to:

  • Housing for households with incomes less than $34,000 (including single parents with limited income; seniors on fixed pension; and other groups in need)
  • Partially financed with developer cash contributions from townhouse and smaller apartment developments where built LEMR units are not provided
  • Provided in partnership with non-profit organizations and sometimes senior governments

As of August 2016, the City has secured 477 subsidized housing units.

Priority 2: Low End Market Rental
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, multi-family or mixed-use developments containing more than 80 residential units must build at least 5% of total residential floor area as LEMR units, with a minimum 4 units, secured in perpetuity with a Housing Agreement.

As of August 2016, the City has secured 336 Low End Market Rental (LEMR) units.

Priority 3: Entry Level (Affordable) Ownership
To respond to this priority, the City encourages:

  • The construction of smaller units to make homeownership more affordable
  • Innovative new housing forms and financing structures
  • That these units be for households with annual incomes less than $60,000

As of August 2016, the City has secured 19 entry level homeownership units.

Affordable Housing Update
The City of Richmond is current updating its Affordable Housing Strategy to reflect the current conditions, key trends, and future concerns of housing affordability in Richmond. See below for progress to date and how to get involved.
affordable housing update

Phase 1 Housing Affordability Profile

Phase 2 Policy Review

Get involved!
Lets Talk Richmond Affordable Housing StrategyAs part of the Affordable Housing Strategy update, during Summer 2016, the City asked for public input on their experiences with housing affordability. Check back here for more opportunities to engage throughout the process.

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