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BC Housing helps developer offer 8% below-market condos in downtown Victoria

An artist's rendering of Vivid at the Yates, a 20-storey, 135-unit condominium tower along the 800-block of Johnson Street that will introduce a first-of-its-kind BC Housing financing arrangement to Victoria. As part of the arrangement, units at Vivid will be priced 8% below current market rates and be made available to individuals earning a predetermined maximum household income.  Chard Development

BC Housing helps developer offer 8% below-market condos in downtown Victoria
Chard Development has unveiled plans to introduce below-market workforce housing to Victoria’s Harris Green district as part of its upcoming Vivid at the Yates condominium tower.
Through a first-of-its-kind financing arrangement with BC Housing, the 20-storey, 135 one and two-bedroom project along the 800-block of Johnson Street will be priced at 8% below market rates to remove barriers to home ownership for a demographic priced out of the housing market.
“Our goal with Vivid is to introduce attainable new-build housing to a greater number of the region’s workforce,” said Chard Development’s Chief Financial and Acquisitions Officer, Byron Chard.
“We’re positioning this project to buyers earning a household income of $150,000 or less per year, with preference given to households with a combined income of $125,000 or less.”
To qualify, Chard adds, prospective purchasers will need to present a 10% down payment for their unit, undergo the federal government’s mortgage stress test and submit proof that they’ll have the ability to acquire financing once the project is ready for occupancy in 2020.
Unlike prior housing programs introduced in the region that were geared towards lower income buyers, Vivid’s post-completion requirements are significantly less onerous. And after a 24 month period, Chard will not restrict how an owner may use their unit. 
“The requirement at Vivid is that owners must reside in their unit for a minimum period of two years. This means that purchases for the purposes of immediate investment or a sale upon completion are not permitted,” Chard says.
“After the two years, however, owners are free to sell their unit, make their unit available as a full-time rental or sell the home at market rates. The key with our initiative is to remove barriers to entry for more Victorians and to not penalize buyers through capped re-sale rates or limit their options as owners.”
Unit prices will range from $275,000 for a 475 square foot one-bedroom suite to $550,000 for a two-bedroom, 1,000 square foot layout. The building's underground parking component will accommodate 63 vehicles. Purchasers wishing to secure a parking stall can do so for an added $35,000.
Registrations are being taken now via Chard’s website and units will be presented to potential buyers in order of the time and date they registered. Sales will officially launch in mid-October. 
Excavation for Vivid and its adjacent 20-storey market condominium tower, The Yates on Yates, will begin next month with completion slated for mid-2020. C

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