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Letters: Renters ‘left in the dust’

Coun. Carol Day says the Polygon Talisman project 'could have been a rental hub'
In a 6-3 decision, Richmond city council opted to move forward with the Polygon Talisman project.

Dear Editor,

Re: “Capstan development approved in 6-3 vote at Richmond council table,” Online, Jan. 18.

Investors will snap up the 1,314 condos (being built in the Capstan development) leaving thousands of renters looking for a home in the dust.

Richmond collected the second highest Speculation and Vacancy tax in 2020, just behind Vancouver. So, I feel it is likely many of these homes will be investments.

The rental vacancy rate in Richmond is lower than one per cent, so increasing the rental stock is critical.

The 2021 Housing Needs report states, “from 2006 to 2015 the number of renter households grew by 30 per cent (14,520 to 18,895), about twice as fast as owners 46,835 to 54,475, which is 15 percent. Richmond had 26 per cent renter households in 2016 and is slowly approaching Metro Vancouver’s distribution (36 per cent).” (page 8 of the report)

This Talisman project could have been a rental hub working with groups like the Canadian Pension Plan who have a history of investing in long-term, multi-family projects.

We have a housing crisis and we need bold new steps to address the issue.

This is a lost opportunity.

Carol Day