Kate Picard was measuring the bedrooms of her new four-bedroom unit on Wednesday.
She and her family, her two young daughters and her partner, are moving into their new home at Madrona on Dockside Green in mid-November.
“I like that it’s an eco-build; we like that it’s brand new,” she said, adding she likes the fact all the bedrooms are on one floor upstairs. “We’re in Vic West; it’s great. It’s a really lovely up-and-coming area and it’s really family friendly.”
Picard was on hand for the unveiling of the newest affordable housing project by the non-profit Catalyst Community Developments Society.
“We’re targeting mainly what we would call housing for regular working folks in Victoria, singles and couples, families, seniors, the whole range,” said Catalyst president Robert Brown, adding that all of the homes are spoken for.
With rents rising and the number of units considered “affordable” in the region still low, the demand for a rental building like this was great from the start, Brown said. “We were being approached by people really from day 1, when we started planning this. Then when we called for formal applications about two or three months ago, we had 200 applicants.”
Like all subsidized housing providers, Catalyst does an income test on applicants. The City of Victoria, as part of the agreement signed with Vancity to provide affordable housing in Dockside Green, mandates rents must be to a certain level. But Brown said Catalyst goes a step further and discounts rents even more to serve families and individuals in the toughest situations.
The three-storey building has 49 units, from studios up the four-bedroom units Picard and her family are moving into. Rents range from $695 for a studio up to $1,650 a month for the largest units.
The nice part about the situation for residents of Madrona, Brown said, was they’ll be able to take advantage of all the amenities planned for the Dockside Green buildout, such as a children’s playpark and walkable green spaces. For more about the development or the organization, visit catalystcommdev.com.
– With files from Lauren Boothby