I have been a resident of Richmond for five years now. My family of five are renters. And, although both my husband and I have comfortably paying, professional jobs, we do not see any prospect of becoming homeowners at least as long as we have children in the house.
One aspect of the housing crisis is a lack of stability.
Does the City of Richmond have incentives (tax or otherwise) for landowners to retain homes as rental units? If not, have they considered it? We are currently renting in an older townhouse complex where the strata limits rental units to a very small percentage.
Many long-time owners are selling their units now. We had a neighbour across the way who was planning to move and considered keeping her unit as a rental but was shocked at the amount of income tax she would be required to pay as a landlord.
So, she sold her unit instead.
Incentives for homeowners to rent out their homes long-term instead of selling could help increase housing availability and increase stability.
One of the worst things about being a renter in Richmond is having to move every two to three years because the landlord decides it is more worthwhile to sell the home than to rent it out. This is especially distressing with children, not to mention destabilizing to the community.
Additional considerations could be incentives for landlords to improve, green and upkeep their properties which would help keep homes from acquiring that rundown “rental” look, which nobody likes (renters included).
Making it easy and lucrative for current homeowners to become responsible, long-term landlords of well-kept properties may well be cheaper for the city and the province than solely investing in new housing stock.
Use what we have!