New rent-to-own units attracting attention in Langford

Development will help affordable housing crisis, says mayor

Langford Mayor Stew Young along with representatives from Belmont Residences and Devon Properties gathered at the new Crossing at Belmont development for a sneak peek at some of the one and two bedroom show suites.

Crossing at Belmont is launching one of Vancouver Island’s first rent-to-own programs so tenants have the opportunity to use a portion of their rent to offset the cost of purchasing a Belmont Residences condo down the line.

The development is made up of 156 rental units within a master-planned community that will also feature Belmont Residences West and East that will be completed by Spring 2020 and Spring 2022, respectively. Alongside the condos and rental units will be shops, restaurants and a Thrifty Food’s grocery store that is set to open in the spring.

Members of the development team said they are aiming for the Belmont development to become a core in Langford, similar to a downtown.

The one- and two-bedroom units have large windows that will overlook the Belmont development and the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. Because they are rental units, the developing team said they are made with more resilient materials that are easy to change if needed.

READ MORE: Subsidies for 156-unit apartment in Belmont Residence with rent-to-own credit options meets Langford council approval

The City of Langford will also be supporting and partially funding this initiative with a subsidy of $5,000 to the developer, Ledcor, for each rent-to-own deal made with residents.

“We can’t solve the affordable housing crisis by blaming the provincial government,” said Young. “What I want to see is the province, municipalities and the private sector actually stepping up and actually trying to help solve the problem.”

Young said depending on how a three-month trial period with this program goes, he is hopeful that the City will amend its affordable housing policy to allow similar initiatives across Langford.

The program also takes some onus off the provincial government and puts the responsibility of affordable housing in the hands of residents, municipalities and the private sector, Young said.

“Langford will try to find a way to work with the people that are developing out here as we have always done and transition them into attainable and affordable housing,” Young said.

The City of Langford has contributed about $9 million over the last 10 years on 2,800 affordable housing units, Young said, but he noted this program is even better because the city will be able to see that people are committing to home ownership two years in advance by signing up.

READ MORE: Belmont market project takes shape

Eric Gerlach, vice president of development for Ledcor, said the project has been difficult to try to pull off and has required some innovation on the part of the developer and the City. He said one thing that will draw residents in the Belmont area together, however, is their desire to live there.

“We want to be able to take that desire to live in Belmont and reward it,” Gerlach said. “If people are living there for two to three years and are told 25 per cent of their rent can be applied to a purchase, there’s significance there. It doesn’t solve all problems but it’s extra help, a push.”

For renters, 25 per cent of their monthly rent can accrue towards the purchase of a Belmont Residence condo to a maximum of five per cent of the value of the home. The City of Langford’s $5,000 contribution will go towards the deposit.

Marcela Corzo, director of development with Belmont Residences, said the expected demographics in the rental units are young individuals and people looking to downsize.

Corzo said it has been a long process getting to this point but is the development’s response to the affordable housing crisis.

“We want to help potential tenants become owners,” Corzo said. “It’s going to be the urban hub of Langford.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff) A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff) A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff) A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff) A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff) A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff) A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff) A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff) A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff) A sneak preview into Belmont Crossing rental units which are part of a rent-to-own program was offered on Thursday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Life-saving’ Fix-A-Heart campaign hits $40,000 two weeks in

Canadian Tire on track to surpass 2018 donation of $41,445

Thief steals cash donations from Saanich church

Police investigate an overnight break-in and theft at a McKenzie Avenue church

Langford’s Isabelle Reader Theatre gets a makeover

Upgrades include new stage, new seats and improved sightlines

Canadian airline passengers to be eligible for $1,000 in compensation for delayed flights

Passengers can also receive compensation for overbooking, lost luggage and other inconveniences

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

B.C. SPCA seizes dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

BC Hydro offers tips as collisions with power poles increase

Region with the largest spike in collisions was the Lower Mainland at 16 per cent

RCMP must bury three sex mannequins found in Manning Park

Police tasked with ensuring the mannequins were completely disposed of

Mount Washington receives more than 30cm of snow

Last week, the resort announced they were pushing back opening day due to lack of snow.

Most Read