Affordable housing units to remain at Oval Village

Storeys social housing Richmond B.C.

A number of planned affordable housing units at the Oval Village development on 6888 River Rd. and 6900 Pearson Way have been saved, due to a City of Richmond decision to utilize excess gaming revenue to temporarily fund overrun costs of the “KFC site” social housing complex. See below:

City councillors and Mayor Malcolm Brodie have chosen to dip into excess casino revenues to temporarily fund cost overruns of a planned social housing complex on Granville Avenue, thus saving 29 affordable housing units near the Richmond Olympic Oval.

The planned 129-unit tower, which will also house a number of non-profit social agencies, was officially named Storeys by the City of Richmond in a news release Thursday, after colloquially being dubbed the “KFC site” within City Hall for some years (Storeys will be built on the former site of a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant).

Storeys is said to allude to the distinct, diverse backgrounds of the residents who will live there, all of whom will be in need of subsidized rent.

Brodie said Storeys needed a $3 million injection of cash to help finalize subsidized rental pricing for the future tenants while still maintaining the same building expectations.

In June, staff had proposed to nix the 29 units from the Oval Village development by Intracorp at 6888 River Rd. and 6900 Pearson Way for $4.5 million of cash-in-lieu. Then, Brodie had wanted a compromise of asking for $3 million, while retaining some of the units. The report was sent back and reappeared this week at a planning committee meeting on Tuesday recommending $3 million and seven affordable housing units.

But Coun. Evelina Halsey-Brandt floated the idea of using casino funds to save all the units.

“The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea,” said Brodie.

De Whalen, of the Richmond Poverty Response Committee, applauded the decision to keep the 29 units in place.

Read the full story in the Richmond News.