Salt Spring Commons

A community of affordable family homes developed by Salt Spring Island Community Services

house2A Salt Spring Island Community Services affordable family housing project that has its roots dating back decades is poised ready for launch of the development with an injection of new funding and the hurdling of some complex bureaucratic tangles over the last years.

The project with the working name of ‘Salt Spring Commons’ is located in the lands south of Drake Road and designated as a five acre development of affordable housing. The development will be comprised of up to 24 units of mixed rental and home-ownership.

“We are delighted that this project is finally in a position to begin,” said Rob Grant, Executive Director of SSICS.  With a very generous donation of $500,000 and confirmation of being ‘agreed to serve’ from North Salt Spring Waterworks, we are solid to move into a pre-development phase. We have been successful in securing a VanCity Credit Union grant for pre-development work and have chosen a designer to work with towards getting the development shovel-ready.”

Mobius Architecture of Sechelt has been chosen for the conceptual design work.  The firm has a track record of working with small, coastal communities and designing for long-term affordability and environmental sensitivity.

The project will be reviewed at an upcoming Local Trust Committee meeting in order to vet modifications to the housing agreement to correct some inaccuracies, clarify the definition of affordable housing, and to allow mixed tenure options without any impacts to the uses and development forms allowed under current land use policy.  SSICS is not requesting any amendments that would increase the density allowed on the property, or conflict with development standards prescribed through the zoning bylaw and development permit area guidelines.

“While some loose ends remain in the government processes, we are confident that we will soon be ab le to offer another affordable family housing option on Salt Spring Island”, Grant added.

“We are very pleased to see this affordable family housing development go forward,” said Li Read, Realtor and President of the SSI Chamber of Commerce. “The Island is in great need of affordable housing solutions to attract and retain young families that contribute to a vibrant economy and a healthy community.”

SSICS has introduced other affordable housing options including Murakami Gardens – a 27 unit rental complex on Rainbow Road, Lautman House – seven bedroom rooming house style residence for low-income individuals, and a three bedroom family apartment on Hereford Avenue.