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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan (left) and Kierry Bui. The family says they are relieved the trial process has come to close Monday morning with Tenessa Nikirk found guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sentencing begins for Peninsula woman convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Victoria police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Victoria police are looking for high-risk offender Douglas McPherson. (Courtesy of VicPD)
High-risk parolee with history of bank robbery believed to be in Victoria

Police ask for public’s help locating 64-year-old parolee

(Black Press Media file photo)
Police arrest suspect in Saanich liquor store break and enters

Windowpane removal key component in string of thefts

Nicole Abbott and her 10-month-old daughter, Ophelia, shown here at the Metchosin Fire Hall for the Halloween events last year. Residents are invited to a drive-through version this year. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore fire halls take pandemic-safe approach to Halloween

One spooky lane among three drive-thru features by firefighters

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Harvesters participating in the extended commercial halibut season will need to land their catch in either Prince Rupert (pictured), Vancouver, or Port Hardy by Dec. 14. (File photo)
B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks

COVID-19 market disruptions at the root of DFO’s decision

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

A view from the deck of a home in SookePoint. The property is a prize in the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery. Tickets are on sale now. (Contributed photo)
Millionaire Lottery home up for grabs in Sooke

Sooke prize home part of latest VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery

FILE – B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts owner, Senator David Braley speaks after the CFL announced Vancouver will host the 2014 Grey Cup championship football game during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Lions owner David Braley dead at 79

Braley had bought the CFL team prior to 1997 season

Wind and waves were part of the reason why the Sail Canada High Performance Team selected HMCS Quadra as the winter training base for Tokyo 2021. Photo by Ken Dool
National sailing team prepares for Olympics at Vancouver Island location

HMCS Quadra is serving as the winter training base for the Canadian… Continue reading

Most Read