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

Oak Bay realtor recalls sale of home where family was murdered

Home sellers not always required to disclose violent crimes

Victoria police seek witnesses after assault reported by man in wheelchair

Cops hope to speak with witnesses near Yates and Douglas on Jan. 13 between 1:45 and 3:15 p.m.

Victoria dancer shares concussion experience in a neuro-diverse performance

Stacey Horton’s Concussion explores living with and recovering from brain injury

Olympic Gold medalist rower disppointed Saanich won’t host national training centre

Adam Kreek said also he respects decision by Rowing Canada Aviron

City of Victoria denies cannabis lounge business licence

Terp City Canna Lounge has been illegally operating for several years

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

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

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Most Read