Gordon English, construction manager of Habitat for Humanity project in North Saanich, stands just off Bakerview Place near Lochside Drive, where the project is currently approaching completion. It will add 10 affordable housing units as part of 27-unit development. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Gordon English, construction manager of Habitat for Humanity project in North Saanich, stands just off Bakerview Place near Lochside Drive, where the project is currently approaching completion. It will add 10 affordable housing units as part of 27-unit development. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Families set to move in to affordable housing project in North Saanich by spring

Pending completion of Habitat for Humanity project comes against backdrop of new housing report

A townhouse project adding 10 affordable housing units in North Saanich is approaching completion.

Yolanda Meijer, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity Victoria, said her organization is excited about the progress behind the affordable housing project at Bakerview Place and Lochside Drive.

“We might even have some of the units ready for an occupancy permit in the next four weeks or so,” she said. “I think you will start seeing families in there, I would imagine in April, May.”

The project, which received North Saanich’s approval in the late summer of 2018, sees Habitat for Humanity partner with a private developer as part of a larger 27-unit housing development that has seen local developers Brian Berglund and John Berglund donate a piece of land valued at $1.2 million.

Partnerships like this one will enable future projects to happen, Meijer said. Habitat for Humanity is still looking for a family to move into the project’s accessible unit.

Ultimately, 10 families with at least one child under 10 years old will assume ownership of the townhouses, which Habitat sells to qualifying families at fair market value with no down payment required if the families cannot afford it. Mortgages are interest free and payments are assessed annually to be no more than 30 per cent of the family’s gross household income. Families must also have the ability to financially manage the mortgage and homeowner expenses, be willing to contribute 500 hours of volunteer service with Habitat and have a gross household annual income between $35,000 and $80,000 — depending on the number of bedrooms.

RELATED: Habitat Victoria searches for families to own 10 North Saanich homes

RELATED: North Saanich approves Habitat for Humanity development

RELATED: Sidney looks to build deeper ties with Habitat for Humanity

Families soon moving into the homes have all shared the stress that has come from a lack of housing security, said Meijer. Some have also had to make compromises about the quality of their housing. “So they are all really excited about moving into homes that are suited to the sizes of their family.”

The vast majority of families moving into the homes are from the Saanich Peninsula, added Meijer, with some families currently living within walking distance of their new homes.

“This opportunity is just so amazing to all of them, because they are going to be able to fulfill a dream that they didn’t think was possible, which is to live in North Saanich and build equity and have housing security for their family,” she said.

The pending completion of the project comes against the backdrop of a new report that raises questions about North Saanich’s housing affordability.

“We don’t have a big impact in numbers, we have a profound impact on our families that are part of our program,” said Meijer. While having an affordable rental home is an “excellent thing,” the project gives families the “locus of control that comes with home-ownership.”

The report finds that most households in North Saanich – and especially families – cannot afford the most common type of housing in the community (single-detached homes) despite residents reporting significantly higher average incomes than the rest of the region.

“Based on the affordability threshold of housing costs being no more than 30 (per cent) of gross household income, single-detached homes and townhouses are out of reach for most households making the median income…,” it reads.

The report finds among other points that townhouses represent an affordable option for households with children, but notes that more than nine out of 10 housing unit are single-detached homes, the housing type out of reach for many households with children.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

Cathy Armstrong, executive director of the Land Conservancy, Paul Nursey CEO of Destination Greater Victoria and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice helped to kick off the annual Greater Victoria Flower Count at Abkhazi Garden Monday. This year, the flower count is less about rubbing the region’s weather in the rest of Canada’ faces, and more about extending a bouquet of compassion and love. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
2021 Greater Victoria Flower Count sows seeds of compassion

Friendly flower count competition runs from March 3 to 10

Oak Bay police seized a fake police badge marked ‘Special Police’ from the car of a driver who rolled through the stop sign at the intersection of King George Terrace and Beach Drive on Saturday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay Police seize fake police badge at traffic stop

Underage public drinking, face-to-face scams keep police busy

BC Housing ensures that by March 31, shelter will be available to all people living outside. (Black Press Media file photo)
All unhoused Victoria residents will be offered shelter by March 31, says BC Housing

BC Housing working to secure shelter locations in coming weeks

Paul Lewis is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Arts Advocate of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore driftwood sculptor inspired by Esquimalt Lagoon

Paul Lewis is the 2021 Arts Advocate of the Year

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read