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About Affordable Housing

Housing affordability continues to be a critical issue both regionally and at the local level. Although the mandate to provide affordable housing is the primary responsibility of senior governments, the City of Richmond has long acknowledged that providing a range of affordable and diverse housing types for residents is an integral part of creating a livable community.

AH Infographic

Affordability is a relative term relating housing costs to household income. A common measurement, defined by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is that housing should not cost more than 30% of a household’s before-tax income.

Affordability situation in Richmond:

  • 32% of owners and 47% of renters spend more than 30% of their before-tax income on shelter costs (NHS, 2011)
  • The average monthly rent for a 3 bedroom unit is $1,596 (Metro Vancouver Housing Data Booklet, 2015)
  • A vacancy rate of 0.9%, far below a ‘healthy’ rental market of 3%, makes it difficult to find affordable rental units (Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book, 2015) 
  • 19.4% of all households are in core housing need (Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book, 2016)

Every household should have the option of living in adequate housing. CMHC defines this as:

  • Adequate: housing that is not in need of major repair and meets the minimum health and safety standards
  • Affordable: households should spend 30% or less than their before tax income on shelter and should have housing security
  • Suitable: housing that has enough bedrooms for the size and composition of the household

City Role
The City has had a proactive history in responding to local housing issues. Key elements of this response have been:

  • Long range housing policy development
  • Strategic review and planning on specific issues
  • Designation of specific affordable housing sites within some of the City’s newer neighbourhoods
  • An Affordable Housing Reserve Fund
  • Acquisition and below market rate leasing of land for non-profit housing
  • Supporting and facilitating innovative housing projects 
  • Monitoring and researching of housing issues and trends

Check out other Affordable Housing initiatives the City is working on:

For general enquiries, please email

Joyce Rautenberg

Affordable Housing Coordinator
Community Social Development 
Phone: 604-247-496