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First proposals emerge for 800-unit Nigel Valley affordable and supportive housing community

An artist's rendering of 856 Nigel Avenue, a 68-unit affordable housing complex planned as the first phase of the redevelopment of Saanich's Nigel Valley precinct. At build-out, nearly 800 affordable and supportive care suites will be built on multiple parcels that currently include fewer than 200 residences.  Greater Victoria Housing Society

First proposals emerge for 800-unit Nigel Valley affordable and supportive housing community
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
The first two phases of nearly 800 affordable, supportive and market rental residences destined for a redeveloped Nigel Valley are making their way through Saanich’s municipal approvals process, Citified has learned.
 
Modern rental housing and supportive care units are slated to replace the Nigel Valley’s existing 186 homes as part of an undertaking encompassing 12 properties bordered by Vernon, Darwin and Nigel avenues near Saanich's municipal hall. Five agencies tasked with delivering housing and social services are involved in the project spearheaded by BC Housing.
 
The initial proposal to emerge under the redevelopment masterplan – which saw municipal approvals handed down last fall for the overall density and scope of the community – is the Greater Victoria Housing Society’s (GVHS) concept for a five-storey, 68-unit affordable rental complex at 857 Nigel Avenue.
 
Comprised of suites than span in size from studio layouts all the way to four-bedroom homes, a rarity throughout the Capital Region, the building will rise as one of Victoria’s few multi-family buildings designed and built to a passive energy standard known as PassivHaus.
 
Relying on energy-saving construction methods, materials and standards, PassivHaus-designed buildings utilize less electricity and conserve resources, which leads to lower operating costs for building management and lower hydro rates for tenants.
 
Formal approvals for GVHS's plan are expected later this year.
 
Next to GVHS’s proposal the Broadmead Care Society has proposed an 88-suite residence targeting seniors with a range of residential care needs and self-directed lifestyles.
 
Known as Nigel House and slated for Vernon Avenue at Nigel Avenue, the building will rise to four and six-storeys and include 41 licensed care units, 37 assisted care units and 10 affordable rental apartments.
 
Plans are also expected to be approved later this year.
 
The Nigel Valley masterplan calls for development proposals from an assortment of social housing providers that include, in addition to GVHS and Broadmead Care, the Garth Homer Foundation and Island Community Mental Health.
 
Upcoming proposals will include multiple lowrise structures ranging between three and eight-storeys, while a landmark residential tower on Vernon Avenue at the north end of the site could rise to 16-storeys.
 
Project amenities will include a public square, a neighbourhood park and beautification of the Nigel Valley public realm. C
 
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