Wednesday, July 24, 2024
July 24, 2024

CRD purchases Galiano land for housing

A regional district purchase of 10 acres on Galiano Island is paving the way for 20 units of affordable rental housing, according to officials.

The Capital Regional District (CRD) announced Monday, July 8 it had acquired the parcel, formerly known as “Galiano Green,” for its 2023 assessed value of $672,000, advancing what is now called the Thuthiqut Hulelum’ Housing Project –– “Forest Homes” in the Hul’q’umi’num’ language. Southern Gulf Islands electoral area director Paul Brent said the purchase would expand affordable living options on the island, something he said has been his “top priority” as an elected official.

“The acquisition of this property marks a significant step forward in addressing this critical need,” said Brent. “We are committed to creating inclusive, sustainable communities, and the Thuthiqut Hulelum’ Housing Project stands as a beacon of hope for low to moderate income individuals and families seeking a place to call home.”

The property had previously been held by the Galiano Affordable Living Initiative Society (GALI), a non-profit charity which shepherded the parcel through pre-development after purchasing it from the Galiano Community Housing Society in 2020. GALI received zoning approval for the proposed project from the Galiano Island Local Trust Committee in late 2022.

Under the terms of the CRD’s purchase agreement, GALI will be the project operator once an occupancy permit is issued.

Praising the property’s Georgeson Bay Road location for easy access to amenities and services, organizers said Thuthiqut Hulelum’ will offer a diverse array of housing options catering to low- and moderate-income residents, Indigenous Peoples, seniors, individuals with disabilities and families.

In September 2023, the CRD Board approved the use of $2,750,000 Growing Communities Funds (GCF) to advance the project; those funds are being used to purchase the property, with the remaining to be used as equity towards construction.

According to a press release, the CRD is also continuing to pursue additional equity funding which will be required before construction can begin.

The CRD has been developing a Rural Housing pilot program for the Southern Gulf Islands and Salt Spring Island electoral areas, and said the project on Galiano was “an example of the scale appropriate for multi-unit affordable housing suited to our island communities.”

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