On February 17th, there was a town hall meeting to address the issue of affordable housing in our community. Minister Responsible for Housing, the Honourable Rich Coleman, spoke about the challenges which face us in ensuring that every person in our community has access to affordable, comfortable housing.
Affordable housing is a fundamental part of a vibrant and healthy community. Minister Coleman discussed strategies and actions which have been successful in increasing the availability of affordable housing in communities around the province. He stressed that the provincial government is aiming to develop affordable housing initiative partnerships with individual municipal governments. The goal of each of these partnerships is to develop long term strategies to combat homelessness and unsafe housing in each municipality.
We are seeing some steps forward where affordable housing is concerned. In Richmond, 2007 saw the opening of the Austin Harris Residence, which consists of 50 assisted-living units for seniors. Maple Residences, located in Steveston Village, is currently under construction and will offer 144 units with supports for independent seniors. Also currently under construction is the Remy, which will include 33 units which are subsidized by the government. A subdivision proposed on Ash Street in Richmond East will offer affordable housing to first time homebuyers with low to moderate incomes.
It is my hope that Richmond can continue to work with the BC Government to provide affordable housing to the members of its community who are in dire need of it. We want to make sure that every family in our community has a safe, healthy, affordable home in which to grow up and take care of each other.