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

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

Baby raccoon euthanized after having rat trap stuck to its paw for a week

Wild ARC encourages humane options, practices for pest control

Esquimalt council approves building, dog areas for Gorge Park

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

Plant-based pizza restaurant to open its doors in Victoria this December

Virtuous Pie has locations in Vancouver, Toronto and Portland

PHOTOS: Trangender flag raised for first time ever outside of B.C. Legislature

Nov. 20 marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, honouring those who have been murdered

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

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

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

VIDEO: B.C. high school’s turf closed indefinitely as plastic blades pollute waterway

Greater Victoria resident stumbles on plastic contamination from Oak Bay High

Four arrested after report of shots fired in Nanaimo

RCMP arrest four suspects in high-risk takedown in Cedar

South Cariboo Driver hits four cows due to fog

The RCMP’s investigation is ongoing

B.C. won’t appeal decision protecting ICBC court experts

Change to evidence rules next to save money, David Eby says

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

Most Read