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

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site

The Greater Victoria plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

Funding requests for the 2021 budget year, submitted by the Administration and Finance Committee, was approved by Langford council at the Feb. 16 meeting. (Black Press Media file photo)
Food awareness, seniors among Langford’s approved 2021 funding requests

New and returning community organizations to receive financial boost

Oak Bay council will consider a protection order on 2072 Hampshire Rd. for Monday night. The 1880s farmhouse is the second oldest remaining farmhouse in Oak Bay. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay’s second-oldest farmhouse could be moved

Council to consider protection order for 1880s home

A rockfall closed Finlayson Arm Road and West Shore Parkway on Friday (March 5) afternoon. (Twitter/BC Transportation)
UPDATED: Malahat reopens following rockfall

Section of Trans-Canada Highway was scheduled for intermittent closures today for rock scaling work

June Saxe, 2, enjoys the sunny shoreline at Whiffin Spit with her dad on March 5. The family had come out from Victoria for a day in the sunshine. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Warm weather brings Sooke’s Whiffin Spit to life

Visitors, locals enjoy warm weather at coastal viewpoint

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Most Read