BC Housing files more lawsuits against allegedly ineligible owners of Victoria condos

The Vivid at the Yates building is pictured.

Days after it was brought to light that homeowners of units in Victoria’s Vivid at the Yates building purchased the homes against rules set in the covenant, the total number of lawsuits filed by BC Housing against allegedly ineligible homeowners has risen to 22.

When the project was first announced, it was given an interest-free loan of $53 million with the covenant that the units would only be sold to people with a household income of $150,000 or less and the units would be priced eight per cent below market value.

However, on March 5, CBC revealed the B.C. government was suing some of those homeowners, arguing they were ineligible to purchase under these requirements.

On March 5, the B.C. government said there were eight claims filed against Vivid at the Yates homeowners, and in the past few days an additional 14 lawsuits have been filed, bringing the total to 22. The province says BC Housing will plans to file more lawsuits in the coming weeks.

The goal is to have the owners sell the properties back to BC Housing for the original purchase price, less legal costs and taxes. BC Housing is also seeking punitive damages.

“The building is intended to supply much-needed affordable housing to people with middle-incomes so they can afford to live in the community they know and love,” Ravi Kahlon, B.C.’s housing minister, said in an emailed statement.

“We are taking further action to ensure that these homes are available to the people that need them. We won’t stop taking on wealthy speculators and investors – making sure the housing market in B.C. works best for people, not speculators.”

BC United MLA and finance critic Peter Milobar feels like there shouldn’t have been any mistakes to begin with when it comes to deciding who should be in the building.

“This was suppose to be the pilot project. this was suppose to be the project that would lead the way and guide where things would work or not,” he said Saturday. “You would think of all the projects this would have the most amount of scrutiny for these applications.”

Kahlon responded to those comments Saturday, saying that the project was approved under the former leadership of Christy Clark and the BC Liberals.

“It’s ridiculous that the opposition has brought this up when it was approved by them,” he said.

READ PREVIOUS: Victoria condo owners face lawsuit after allegedly lying to buy below market units

The government says 19 units in the 135 unit building have been returned to BC Housing. Nine have been re-sold and 10 are listed for sale.

The B.C. government first became aware of the potential fraud in 2021 when it learned some of the units were being rented, which is also contrary to the covenant, and BC Housing began investigating.

BC Housing audited the building and began filing lawsuits in 2022 and has since been pursuing legal action against the owners to recover the units.


Laura BroughamLaura Brougham
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