CMHC report paints incomplete picture of Richmond

23 February 2022

The recent CMHC Market Rental Report paints an incomplete picture of the Richmond market, ignoring key initiatives to provide important rental and affordable housing in the City of Richmond.

Between 2018 and 2021 – the period of the recent report – Council approved over 560 new market rental units in Richmond. Since 2018, 344 affordable housing units were built and occupied in Richmond.

In total, almost 1,330 new rental units have been approved in Richmond since 2018 covering both market rental and affordable housing. CMHC chose to exclude this data from its report.

CMHC excludes affordable housing numbers as well as projects approved for construction from its report, painting an incomplete picture and failing to capture the significant work of municipalities to provide more affordable rental housing options since 2018.

Increasing the supply of housing remains a priority for the City of Richmond and Council has made significant progress in creating new rental housing units across Richmond. It has actively encouraged the development of rental housing, especially affordable housing, since the adopting Richmond’s first Affordable Housing Strategy in 2007.

Council continues to work with developers and other levels of government to support the creation of more rental housing and protect existing rental properties. It just adopted a zoning bylaw amendment to use residential rental tenure legislation to protect 60 existing rental sites across Richmond, demonstrating the City’s commitment to keeping rental housing for residents and recognizing the rental need in our community.

Council also recently approved an increase in the number of Low End Market Rental units to require at least 15 per cent of new residential apartment projects with 60 or more units within the City Centre. This is an increase from the previous 10 per cent and now among the highest levels in the region.

City staff will be following up with CMHC to suggest it take a broader look at steps taken to provide different levels of rental housing in communities so people have a more complete picture of affordable rental housing across Canada.