Affordable housing units on Johnson Street go up for sale, nearly 70 per cent already bought

Affordable housing units on Johnson Street go up for sale, nearly 70 per cent already bought
Chard Developments
A rendering of Haven, an affordable housing development on Johnson Street in Victoria, is shown.

A planned six-storey condo in Victoria with 104 homes reserved for families, seniors and people with middle-incomes has already sold through nearly three-quarters of available units as the government announced the homes were up for sale Wednesday.

Haven, located at 1109 and 115 Johnston St., is being built through a partnership between the provincial government, BC Housing and Chard Development.

The project is under construction and expected to be complete by early 2024, but homes are are already up for presale, and according to Chard’s website, 70 per cent had already sold as of Wednesday, with two-bedroom units completely sold out.

The units are priced at fair market value — studios are $325,000 and one-bedrooms start at $432,000. To qualify for a studio or one-bedroom home, buyers cannot have a combined household income greater than $118,440 and they’ll be required to live in the unit for at least five years.

The development was created under BC Housing’s affordable home ownership program to offer buyers a no interest, no monthly payment second mortgage to help them gain equity while reducing the monthly cost of their first mortgage — essentially providing them with a credit worth 10 per cent of their home’s value.

“Buyers will not need to repay the mortgages until the 25-year term limit expires or if they sell their home. At the time of repayment, the homeowner must repay the proportionate share of the current market value of the home,” the government said in a news release.

The project is one of the ways the government hopes to take aim at the current housing crisis in the province, according to Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Grace Lore.

“This project is an example of how our government is creating a new inventory of homes through our HousingHub that would otherwise not exist. This means more homes for people living in Victoria and more opportunities for middle-income buyers to own their first home,” she said.

Mayor Lisa Helps said the Haven development and its unique financing option will help free up space in a rental market that had a 2.2 per cent vacancy rate, according to a report released by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation last year.

“Buildings like this give people a start getting into homeownership and frees up space in our very tight local rental market,” she said.

“The city is working alongside the Province to support affordable housing through the city’s Housing Reserve Fund and by speeding up the development approvals process for affordable housing.”

Chard says it has plans for a larger development in the Fernwood area that will include additional housing, a day care and commercial space.


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