Council has been working on an Affordable Housing Strategy since May when the Draft Strategy was considered at a Special Council Meeting. It was my hope that this strategy would be endorsed by Council at the July Council meeting so that our Planning Staff would be able to do further refined research into the various tools available to municipalities to help provide more housing that is affordable to more people.
Many municipalities across Canada struggle with the issues of housing affordability and I am quite aware that the solutions to this complex problem are not simple. However I do believe that the draft Affordable Housing Strategy would serve to move us towards solutions.
Unfortunately the staff reccomendation to endorse the draft strategy failed at Council. I was very dissapointed to see this happen but I will continue to work towards urgently finding solutions to this problem. Below is further information about the issue and the proposed strategy.
An affordable Housing Strategy will serve the millennials, the seniors, recent immigrants, and people who work in Richmond Hill. Essentially, the Strategy will help to accommodate a wide range of people and at the same time, support a robust labour force. Ensuring that these households have suitable and affordable accommodation benefits all residents in Richmond Hill. Having access to affordable housing means that people are commuting less and have more income that can be used towards other essential / non-essential local purchases. Providing affordable housing attracts business investment when employers know that their employees can settle locally. Furthermore, these households are more likely to have positive health outcomes, which would reduce their reliance on social services to assist with their daily lives.
Who Will Benefit from an Affordable Housing Strategy?
People of all age groups and background at some point or another in their lifetime will
likely need affordable housing. The Affordable Housing Strategy Background Study found that millennials aged 25 to 44 years old need more affordable rental or ownership options. This particular age group is delaying household formation by living with their parents, or they are leaving the City to settle elsewhere. The Background Report also found that older adults and seniors need affordable housing to be able to age in place and remain within their neighbourhoods. In addition, new residents to Richmond Hill who are recent immigrants also tend to need affordable housing. From an economic development perspective, the research also found that the majority of individuals employed in industries with moderate incomes commuted from another municipality to work in Richmond Hill. This suggests they are unable to find affordable housing in the City.
To view the Richmond Hill Affordable Housing Strategy Report please click https://pub-richmondhill.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=41394.
To view SRPI.21.052 Request for Endorsement – Affordable Housing Strategy staff report please click here.