Reverse the current policies favouring strata condos over purpose-built rental by working toward the goal of 80% purpose-built rental of the apartments built over the next five years. The severe shortage of rental housing can only be solved by constructing thousands of new market rental apartments. The supply must increase to meet the demand. The few hundred required under current policies will not reverse the situation. Only 13% of the apartments built in Richmond over the past four years have been purpose-built rentals while 87% have been strata condos for sale mostly to investors who charge rents 20% higher than purpose-built rentals. Shortages of skilled labour limit how many apartments can be built per year. Building strata condos takes scarce labour away from building purpose-built rentals.
Richmond will provide more mental health specialists to accompany RCMP Officers when required. Many calls to the RCMP involve disturbances created by people with mental health problems. These situations frequently require careful handling by someone with mental health expertise to avoid escalation into an incident that results in serious harm to those involved.
Richmond will explore the potential of Richmond Fire-Rescue taking an enhanced role for Medical Emergencies in coordination with BC Ambulance Service. Long waits for an ambulance and paramedics could be reduced if Richmond Fire-Rescue personnel had increased paramedic training.
Richmond will expand the RCMP Block Watch program. Most residential break-ins are reported by the homeowner after returning home and the police come to record what was stolen. The Block Watch program trains neighbours to call the police when they see suspicious activity so that the police can come and catch the thief. While Richmond has over 300 RCMP officers, there are only two people managing the Block Watch program.
Richmond will expand the anti-racism public education program. By expanding the anti-racism program, we can build a stronger community together.