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.

Just Posted

‘Actors can play any roles’: Debate over ‘colour-blind’ casting after Victoria lawsuit

Tenyjah Indra McKenna filed a complaint over racially-motivated casting

Second cyclist struck during morning commute in Greater Victoria

Saanich crash involving a cyclist at the Braefoot Road, Epsom Drive and Cedar Hill Cross Road intersection

Esquimalt council approves building, dog areas for Gorge Park

$7 million in funding for waterfront improvements goes to multipurpose building and dog park

Cyclist struck in downtown Victoria

Lack of visibility likely the cause of early morning crash

VicPD volunteers check more than 16,000 vehicles in effort to stop thefts

Police report increase in theft from vehicle reports in last six months

VIDEO: UBC exchange students offered $1,000 to help with leaving Hong Kong

The university said 31 of its students were attending four universities in Hong Kong

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

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

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Woman calls 911 to say she was late for train, asks Ontario police for ‘emergency ride’

Peel Regional Police received more than 180,000 improper calls so far this year

It could take you 218 years to save up for a house in this B.C. city

It would take 27 years in the most affordable city in the Lower Mainland

Victim of downtown Courtenay assault dies from injuries

Person of interest identified by RCMP

Infants more vulnerable to measles than previously thought: Canadian study

Babies typically don’t receive the measles vaccine until they are 12 months old

Shatner, Obomsawin among 39 inductees to Order of Canada today

Shatner is being given one of Canada’s highest civilian honours for his 60-year career

John Mann, singer and songwriter of group Spirit of the West dead at 57

Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer’s

Most Read