Letters: Two-pronged attack needed for housing in Richmond
A Richmond News reader thinks that elected officials and developers are building the wrong kind of housing.
I don’t have to tell you, my friends, that we are experiencing a dire housing shortage in Richmond.
The good news is that our elected officials and developers are making a concerted effort to build more housing; the bad news is it’s the wrong kind.
The new housing projects underway will not help our young adults and middle-income workers fleeing our community searching for affordable housing and will only benefit the privileged elite. Is anyone surprised?
Rather than investing in reasonably priced housing that everyday folks can afford, we are witnessing the construction of luxury townhouses and high-priced condominiums, some of which result in the destruction of single-family dwellings to obtain the land.
The negligible amount of affordable housing under construction is inadequate for Richmond’s 200K population — 26 per cent of whom are renters in a region with a <1 per cent vacancy rate.
We desperately need a two-pronged approach to fix this systemic issue.
Our young adults are forced to relocate, leaving behind their entire community and support system, making families more vulnerable.
Prong one is to re-design single-family homes to create two or three smaller homes on the same plot that our much-valued teachers, tradespersons, healthcare and childcare workers, and young professionals can afford.
Prong two involves city council fundamentally changing zoning laws to create more purpose-built rental housing that families and middle-income residents, who make less than $70,000 annually, can afford.