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Letters: Rental, not investment condos needed for Lansdowne redevelopment

Letter writer is concerned about young people not being able to afford housing in the city they grew up in.
Lansdowne's first redevelopment phase includes more than 1,000 units of housing.

Open letter to Richmond Mayor and Council,

Re: "1,000+ units proposed for first part of Lansdowne redevelopment"

I am writing to you today to voice my strong opposition to the Lansdowne rezoning based on the current numbers of low-end market rentals (LEMR) and market rental housing included in this rezoning application.

I have driven by new developments alongside the Oval many an evening when many of the units seem to sit unoccupied, with lights off, as more and more locals find themselves unhoused or underhoused. I see condos going up all around Capstan, with no doubt this is housing primarily for investors.

I hear constantly, and often daily, about the lack of affordable housing in Richmond. I know of students attending KPU who lived in sub-standard conditions, small rooms rented out of small apartments and in precarious situations, or living hours away by transit - both untenable.

Young people increasingly cannot afford to live in the cities in which they grew up, leaving after being trained as teachers, nurses, trades people, etc. that we desperately need in our city. 

You have the chance to make a difference in our community and I urge you to make this a better deal for Richmond's residents. The Lansdowne rezoning is the opportunity we have been waiting for: a chance to dramatically increase rental housing in city centre.

Why is council not pushing for the entire development to be rental? This is a worthy goal that the province granted you the powers to implement and can also be profitable for the investor.

As well, please ask why are there no three-bedroom units included in the proposed market rental housing! None! In the age of work-from-home, and people having families to house (with children and/or eldercare), the absolute minimum home size should be three bedrooms as most families now need a room as an office to work from home.

We are building all this housing for investors? What about the families who live and work here?

It's time to take a hard look at what you can do to make this city more liveable for all residents.

In hopeful solidarity that you will advocate for the residents of Richmond,

Michelle Li


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