The City of Langford, on average, processes approximately one or two housing resales and receives around five applicants a year to the city’s Affordable Home Ownership Program, according to the city’s planning department.
The program consists of 39 single family homes and eight condos, and the wait list currently has 21 qualified families, the city adds.
Ballooning housing costs in the city have discouraged developers from providing additional units as part of the rezoning process under the program, Mayor Stew Young said.
Developers instead opt to contribute to the Affordable Housing Reserve Fund, typically $1,000 for each single-family dwelling equivalent being built.
In 2012, council updated its Affordable Housing and Amenity Contribution Policy, which specifies contributions that may be required as a condition of rezoning land for increased density, allowing applicants an option to either provide one in 15 dwellings created by rezoning as an affordable housing unit within the program, or a cash contribution to the Affordable Housing Reserve Fund.
The money that has been raised supports non-profit housing projects within the City, which can impact a larger number of families, Young noted.
He used the example of the 73-unit apartment on the 600-block on Goldstream Avenue, the 100-unit building coming to 731 Station Ave. and the 132-unit development at 713 and 715 Treanor Ave. as developments accepting applicants for affordable or subsidized rental housing that have had their application fees waived and received money from the fund.
However, since 2011, over 3,200 new rental apartment units have either been constructed or are currently under construction, according to the city.
“The gap is so great that we had to find a way for affordability, and I can sit 50 people in an apartment [rather than] one person [in a house],” he said.