The number of homes in a BC Housing complex in Richmond could expand six-fold.
Rosewood Village at No. 2 and Blundell roads currently has 138 townhouse units on 9.1 acres that BC Housing wants to redevelop with 800-plus units.
Rosewood Village was built about 50 years ago, and long-term residents recount how they brought up their families there when there were two swimming pools – with lifeguards – and a community hall.
The pools are now filled in and the community hall has been converted into an office.
When she was raising her children in Rosewood Village, it felt like a community with a lot of single mothers raising their children there, said Arlene Rolick.
“We hung around together and looked after each other,” she said.
Currently, there seems to be a lot of vandalism and criminality, Rolick said, with police onsite almost every day.
Some residents have suggested security cameras, but have been told they can’t be installed because of privacy reasons.
Rolick hopes, when redeveloped, it will provide housing for single mothers with children.
BC Housing started consulting with residents about a year ago, and in a recent city council planning meeting, city staff said they are expecting a development proposal to come before city council sometime over the next few months.
Shailyn Cordick, who has one small child and is expecting another one, said she can see the need for low-income housing.
She would rather see the complex redeveloped with only low-income housing.
“There are already so many people waiting for housing,” she said.
In fact, there are 1,100 Richmond families on the BC Housing waitlist.
Julia Logan, Cordick’s mother, who’s lived in the complex for more than 25 years, said she’d like to see low-income people consulted on what they need as far as housing.
“If you haven’t lived in low-income housing and survived in low-income housing, you don’t know it,” Logan said.
She’s worried that with so much density, everyone will be “crammed in” together, compared to the spacious property the 138 townhouses are now located on.
BC Housing noted tenants will be allowed to stay in their current units if possible, and, when the complex is redeveloped, they will be allowed to move back in, if they so wish.
BC Housing will also pay for “reasonable” moving costs, according to information on its website.
In a statement, BC Housing said community feedback is “critical” in any redevelopment project.
They launched a multi-phased engagement process more than a year ago, including discussions with community groups, businesses and held tenant information sessions, a public open house and online surveys.
BC Housing said it’s too early to give details on the rezoning process including the type of housing and how it will be managed.