Salt Spring Commons One Step Closer

site_planAThe Salt Spring Commons housing project by Salt Spring Island Community Services (SSICS) is poised shovel ready with the approval of the development permit by the Local Trust Committee last week. With approval for town water hookups years ago, the project hurdles one of the major obstacles of present day affordable housing developments.

“We’re very happy to announce that the project has passed all requirements for zoning and has had approval of the Housing Agreement with the Islands Trust,” said Rob Grant, Executive Director.  “ With the Development Permit from the Islands Trust in hand now, the project is now ready to move into the CRD Building Permit process . We hope to break ground this year.”

The Salt Spring Commons will be a neighbourhood of 24 three-bedroom units with a mix of rentals and home ownership within walking distance to Ganges amenities on a five acre plot of land owned by SSICS.

Units will be sold below market prices and will, under the housing agreement, remain that way in perpetuity even as homes are re-sold over time. The homes are initially sold 15-25% below market value and resold within a restrictive framework that keeps a below market value for the next purchase. Other units will be rented at below market rates and owned by SSICS.

The below market sales price is achieved by removing the land cost, keeping construction expenses low and obtaining preferred lending terms. When owners choose to sell their units, the resale price will be restricted to no more than the Greater Victoria Consumer Price Index change over the time the unit has been owned. This will allow the seller some equity gains while maintaining a below-market price for the purchaser.

“Salt Spring Commons is designed with community living for families in mind,” said Grant.

The complex will offer self-contained housing units along with a common house with shared facilities along with common gardening areas and trails connecting to PARC trails leading to Mouat Park and the rest of Ganges.

Designed for minimum environmental impact, the units will be clustered in a 2 acre clearing with the remaining 3 acres left in their natural forested state.

Final permit approvals make way for construction to begin this season.

SSICS is now accepting applications for the home ownership units from interested households who wish to be considered when the units become available for purchase.

SSICS and Island Savings will offer a home ownership workshop this Spring for households interested in owning at Salt Spring Commons.

Those interested can find out more information at where they can also sing up for email updates on the project, coming meeting and important events.