Photo by Chung Chow
Giving back is firmly rooted in the story of Townline Homes.
Since Rick Ilich started the Richmond company in 1981, developing a social conscious has been on par with building quality homes. Now, Townline is assuming another lead role by becoming the first developer to donate assignment fees.
Recognizing the ongoing housing affordability crisis in Metro Vancouver, Townline has made it corporate policy to donate the assignments fees the company collects from purchasers to various social needs groups and affordability programs. The first donation of $46,485 was made Tuesday to the City of Richmond’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund from its sold-out Calla at the Gardens project.
“We’ve always made a conscientious effort to always be aware of affordability issues, and came to the conclusion we were going to look at doing something contrary to what the development industry (has done),” said Chris Colbeck, vice-president of sales and marketing for Townline Homes.
Being involved in the community is a mindset a Townline, he said, be it at the corporate or personal level.
“We try to walk the talk in a sense,” he said. “We don’t just talk about helping our communities, we’re involved. This is just a small step, but if we can get other developers doing the same then it means big steps.”
Townline doesn’t see a large number of assignments, but see collecting fees from purchases as a way to monitor the pace of assignments. Colbeck said Richmond is the first municipality to receive such a donation, but envisions other communities where Townline has developments will benefit as well.
Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said Townline’s contribution with further support “our mutual objectives of ensuring Richmond is a great and affordable place to live for everyone.”
Brodie said affordable housing is an urgent priority within the community and across the region. He said city council has made significant financial and policy commitments to ensure development of a broad spectrum of new affordable housing units. However, he said it will take the partnership at all levels to meet Richmond’s goals.