Richmond proposes rental-only zones

The City of Richmond is looking at securing permanent rental housing by rezoning 60 existing rental housing sites.

The sixty properties include 21 market rental housing complexes, 22 non-market housing complexes and 17 housing co-operatives for a total of 4,125 units.

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Creation of rental-only zones became possible after the provincial government introduced the rental-only housing changes to the Local Government Act last May.

Staff have also proposed that council consider mandatory market rental in all high-density apartment zones, something also possible through changes to the Act.

This would mean properties that were already pre-zoned in the 1980s could be required to include rental units. The new rental-only tool would allow the city to require rentals without needing to create a Housing Agreement Bylaw with the developer.

John Roston, who ran for council in October, in an open letter to mayor and council, called the 10-per-cent requirement “totally inadequate” and suggested they increase this amount to 60 per cent rental in large development, pointing out the vacancy rate is less than one per cent. He also suggested that council require multi-bedroom units.

The proposed bylaw is on the agenda for Tuesday’s planning committee meeting.

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