Construction begins on affordable homeownership project in Victoria
Nine affordable homes will soon be available to middle-income homebuyers, as construction has started on a new condominium project in Victoria.
“This project is an example of our experiments with new models to offer affordability to British Columbians,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “In addition to being an experiment in affordability, this building will mean more homes for those living in Victoria and will support middle-income buyers to own their first home.”
Located at 1301 Hillside Ave., the six-storey building will have 49 homes, with a mix of studio, one-bedroom, junior two-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Nine of these units will be reserved for families, seniors and individuals with middle incomes. Buyers will receive a no-interest, no-monthly-payment second mortgage to support their purchase. This second participating mortgage assists the buyer on the equity portion of their purchase, helping reduce the income required to obtain a first mortgage and its monthly payments.
Qualifying buyers must have a combined household income no greater than $116,330 for the units with fewer than two bedrooms and an income no greater than $163,220 for the two-bedroom units. The remaining 40 units will be sold at market value.
The nine affordable homes are being built in partnership with Abstract Developments through BC Housing’s Affordable Home Ownership Program (AHOP). The program was created to allow BC Housing to partner with the development community and municipalities throughout the province and create new home ownership opportunities for middle-income households.
AHOP’s goal is to garner savings through low-cost financing or waiving of fees from the partnership and pass those savings onto potential purchasers in the form of second participating equity mortgages that are interest- and monthly-payment free for up to 25 years for qualified buyers.
BC Housing is not financing this project, but will administer the second mortgages for the nine AHOP units. Buyers do not need to repay the mortgages until the 25-year term limit expires or if they choose to sell their home. At the time of repayment, the homeowner must repay the proportionate share of the current market value of the home. For example, if the home was purchased with a 10% AHOP mortgage, the homeowner must repay 10% of the current fair market value at the time of repayment.
Construction is expected to be completed by spring 2023.
Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake –
“No one should have to leave the community they call home because they can’t find an affordable place to live. Our government is committed to working in partnership to build homes like these so middle-income households can live close to their work, friends and loved ones — and not just to rent, but to own.”
Lisa Helps, mayor, City of Victoria –
“This development is close to shopping, transit and other services and sits perfectly between six of Victoria’s most diverse neighbourhood villages and centres, so you are just minutes from amazing experiences and everyday essentials. Affordability was a major factor in our council supporting this project.”
Mike Miller, CEO, Abstract Developments –
“We’re proud to be able to play a small part in building on the livelihood of this community. Each happy Abstract homeowner is another testament to our commitment to quality craftsmanship and livable design. I want to thank BC Housing and Mayor Helps and her council for working with us to make this dream a reality. Including affordable homeownership in this project strengthens the community, and we look forward to welcoming our new owners to the Abstract family.”
For more information about AHOP, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/housinghub/programs-and-eligibility
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in BC is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn more about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
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