Platform Renters and Landlords Advisory Board

Renters and Landlords Advisory Board

RITE Renters and Landlords Advisory Board

RITE Richmond will direct staff to report to council on options for the creation of a Renters / Landlords Advisory Committee.

Rational: Renters in Richmond are at risk of losing their homes due to Renovictions, apartment redevelopment due to the new 80% rule allowing for Strata’s to be dissolved and vacant homes owned by speculators. Landlords need  support to ensure they can protect their properties from damage and ensure they will be able to collect rents that are due.

The committee could explore options to increase the rental pool in Richmond through creative options like the Housing Hub ( see attachment ) and details such as these regarding Purpose Built Rentals ( PBR ):

  • Vancouver recently added the Renters Advisory Committee (15 members who rent in the city).
  • Purpose-built-rentals (PBRs) provide community amenities by design
  • 30% of BC households rent at total of 550,000 units
  • PBRs face a risk/reward imbalance vs. condo developments
  • The Regulatory Tenancy Act has good regulations but is high in bureaucracy and needs investment
  • PBRs are the right type of “supply” we need more of in Metro Van if the “old stock” needs to be replaced.
  • PBRs offer security and stability and come with a convenient that is hard to remove
  • PBRs often have bigger suites for adaptable design to attract 20-30 year old students, 45-75 restarts and downsizes who have the lock and go lifestyle
  • PBRs often provide “relocation teams” to help people with compensations, moving assistance, etc. during renovations – usually to improve life safety standards in the units – I.e. add sprinklers
  • The sub-trades are in high demand and prefer to work on taller repetitive jobs and have been known to walk off PBR jobs
  • Revenue, costs, AND finance is key to getting PBRs
  • Banks often require pre-sales before providing financing
  • Condo dev don’t pay taxes, but the buyers of the units do, while PBR’s developers must pay
  • City government roles:
    • clear policies and guidelines
    • reduce approval timelines for PBRs (can take 5-7 yrs)
    • balance revenue from developments with housing objectives
    • relax building design guidelines
    • work with PBR developers
    • affordable housing options need government intervention now!
    • lobby for a revised tenancy act
    • use city-owned land to test the market and build PBRs

The committee could explore options to lobby the provincial government for changes to the Residential Tenancy Branch to encourage more rentals.