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

The designation of March as Distracted Driving Awareness Month is among several measures designed to stop the use of hand-held phones. In 2018, Sidney/North Saanich RCMP, North Saanich Fire, BC Ambulance and ICBC partnered with Parkland drama students who played the role of driver, passenger and witness to simulate a car crash designed to prevent students from texting and driving. (Black Press Media File)
Police across Greater Victoria step up enforcement of distracted driving

More than a third of B.C. drivers admit to using phone while driving, even as most denounce practice

According to Statistics Canada, new housing starts and value of building permits in Greater Victoria rose in January 2021 compared to January 2020. (Black Press Media File)
New housing starts, value of building permits up in Greater Victoria

Cost of new housing also rising in region, now in excess of $1.15 million for a new detached home

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Most Read