The expansion of Croftonbrook on a 5 acre owned lot would add 54 mixed model rental housing units to the existing 20 units of subsidized rental housing for seniors or those with disabilities. The proposed units will accommodate individuals, couples and small families with low to moderate incomes. Some units will be provided for those experiencing homelessness.
The project is being led by Island Women Against Violence (IWAV) and received full funding from CRD Regional Housing First Program, a partnership with CRD, BC Housing, Island Health, and The Salt Spring Island Foundation.
Croftonbrook is striving to minimize both its carbon footprint and its use of groundwater resources by designing to the new Step 3 Building Code and implementing strong water conservation measures such as greywater reuse and rainwater catchment.
The project has received numerous delays from Islands Trust and has faced a small but vocal amount of local opposition.
Dragonfly Commons is an exciting new development comprised of 30 affordable rental homes with 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom duplex houses on a secluded 10.5 acre site on Drake Rd, walking distance to Ganges. Housing sizes will range from 1200 to 1400 sq ft. The project is being spearheaded by Fernando and Tami dos Santos and is focused on middle and low-income SSI residents in the workforce.
Challenges faced by this project include delays due to the complex nature of the rezoning process. However, the primary difficulties have been encountered as a result of the well licensing process with the province. Unreasonably stringent requirements for the water system have not only caused significant delays but have forced the proponents to drastically change the model from home ownership to rental. Current BC Housing funding for affordable rental projects will give this project a big push forward, making it possible to have homes built by 2019.
Salt Spring Commons
Salt Spring Commons is a shared ownership neighbourhood being developed by Salt Spring Island Community Services (SSICS). The neighbourhood is designed according to the co-housing principles of providing compact private homes in a community setting with plentiful shared spaces and amenities. The neighbourhood will include 24 three-bedroom townhomes arranged in 8 triplex buildings on a 5-acre site on Bishops Walk. A portion of the townhomes will be available for below-market, affordable homeownership to households earning between $50K to $75K. The other townhomes will be rented by SSICS to households earning between $40K and $60K.
Salt Spring Commons has appropriate zoning, servicing and design plans, a housing agreement and development team in place. SSICS is currently seeking financial support from the CRD and senior levels of government to close a $1.5 million funding gap for the 24 homes. The funding gap is the result of a lengthy planning process and significant cost escalation in construction over the past 18 months.
CRD Drake Road
The housing project at 161 Drake Road is a joint development of the CRD and School District #64. First proposed in 2001, it was envisioned as an affordable housing complex on a five acre parcel with up to 80 units serving a mix of families, singles and seniors.
This project is being held up largely due to a lack of appropriate water supply. While the North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD) pre-approved the project in 2013, in 2014 NSSWD issued a district-wide moratorium on new water connections, including those for affordable housing. The CRD funded a water alternative study but no suitable groundwater sources have been located.
Other alternative solutions
Affordable housing projects won't work for everyone, nor will they on their own solve the housing crisis. Other solutions proposed by Salt Springers include:
- more for support for alternative, cooperative living (starting by stopping the crackdown on alternative living arrangements)
- farmworker housing solutions
- permission for tiny homes or cottage housing
- a solution for non-resident, investor-owned STVR's
- emergency shelter in temporary structures
- a landlord tenant matching service
Contact us or sign our petition if you want to talk more about or work on these solutions.