A rendering of the future Polo Gardens development as submitted to Council in February 2017.

New Habitat for Humanity home coming to Central Saanich

When Lowe’s opened their new store in Langford, they celebrated by donating $5,000 to Habitat for Humanity, and the money will go to a build project in Central Saanich.

Polo Gardens, a new 20-home housing development on the corner of East Saanich and Jeffree Road, is being cleared and the developer, Cube Project Management, donated one micro-lot to Habitat for Humanity. In a proposal to Central Saanich council, the firm proposed donating the lot in lieu of an amenity contribution, which developers are normally obliged to provide (which would have been $180,000 cash towards affordable housing and general amenities). Council chose to allow the developer to donate $24,000 instead towards park amenities and one lot in the development to Habitat for Humanity.

Yolanda Meijer, Habitat for Humanity Victoria CEO, is happy council approved the application. Sarah, a legal assistant with two young boys, has been chosen as the recipient of the home.

Meijer said that Habitat for Humanity is the only affordable housing program that allows residents to own their homes. Habitat provides no-interest loans and does not require a down payment, instead requiring recipients to put in 500 hours of “sweat equity”, literally building a portion of the home themselves. Their yearly payments are calculated to be no more than 30 per cent of their income.

There are many models of affordable housing ownership, said Meijer. There are housing corporations like the Greater Victoria Housing Society, but she said they are not allowed to manage an isolated rental unit in an area that is otherwise market housing.

Developers could also offer lower prices, as David Chard has done with a new condo proposal in Victoria with one and two-bedroom units meant for people under certain income thresholds, but Meijer said that there are downsides.

‘You could set an alternative market price to begin with, but how do you control that in the future? What stops those people from turning around and selling it two years later for market [value]?”

In this case, Habitat for Humanity would manage the ongoing resale of the unit so it stays in the affordable housing pool, which Meijer said was “very important to Central Saanich council.”

Ultimately, she said a covenant would be placed on the property to ensure it is retained as an affordable housing unit, even though it is under an ownership model.

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

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary hosts pop-up fundraiser in Sidney

Temporary store to feature unique hand made gifts, collectibles, clothing, books and more

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer load onto barge crane

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Most Read