The Tofino Housing Corporation is hosting a purchase lottery with the right to purchase half-duplex homes up for grabs. (Image from THC summary plans)

The Tofino Housing Corporation is hosting a purchase lottery with the right to purchase half-duplex homes up for grabs. (Image from THC summary plans)

Tofino Housing Corporation to host purchase lottery for duplex homes

Deadline to enter lottery is October 3

The Tofino Housing Corporation is hosting a lottery with the opportunity to purchase a half-duplex home for $699,000 up for grabs.

Oct. 3 is the deadline to apply to the lottery and the winners will be able to enter into a presale contract for a three-bedroom unit, which includes a rental suite that can be rented out long-term as a mortgage helper, though vacation rentals will be prohibited.

In order to qualify for the lottery, applicants must have lived within the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District for at least two of the past three years, work full time in Tofino and not own any other real estate.

“For this opportunity, we don’t have a maximum income (requirement). The homes are $699,000 plus GST. So they’re not super cheap, but they’re a lot less pricey than you’d pay on the market,” THC interim executive director Ian Scott told the Westerly News.

More information can be found at tofinohousingcorp.ca.

“We get that these homes are not going to be affordable to everybody and people should know that, come next year, there will be more rental homes of a variety of different sizes available,” Scott said. “We still are in a limited inventory phase of development so, if this isn’t quite the right fit for somebody, we’re looking to create future opportunities for them. Some are underway, others are still on the drawing board.”

The duplexes have not yet been built, but are expected to be complete by next summer and Scott explained that the money paid by lottery winners will go towards paying down the construction costs.

“We need to be sure there are buyers before we put the money down to actually build them,” he said. “We will actually be losing money on the project. We are making a long-term investment in below market housing prices.”

He added that the homes will have resale pricing restrictions.

The THC is nearing completion of the first phase of its development goal it set off to achieve roughly four years ago with 14 housing units officially occupied at Creekside and 72 apartment units expected to be ready to be moved into next year along with the two duplexes up for lottery.

“We have a strategic plan goal of having 150 rental units and 30 price restricted units by 2030,” Scott explained. “We’re about halfway to that goal.”

Scott said Creekside residents are happy with their new homes.

“That development seems to be working out really well. The neighbours seem quite pleased, they had some concerns and hesitations and it seems to be working out well. Our hope is that each of our developments we get the same kind of positive feedback from the people who move in and the people who live around it,” he said. “There’s lots of stories of people who have struggled for years to find adequate housing or affordable housing or a combination of both and to have a place that’s a longer term, stable place that they can live is just a big load off.”

The THC has been working with the district to locate other development opportunities, though concerns around tree removal and capacity continue to be barriers and district-owned land is limited.

“The district providing the land was one of the key aspects to us being able to achieve what we have achieved,” he said.

Scott is on the agenda to speak to council during their Sept. 27 regular meeting and hopes to hammer down more details around the future direction of housing projects.

“I get lots of emails and communication from people asking, ‘Do you have a place I can live?’ and the answer is ‘No, not yet, but we’re working on it,’” he said. “So, you have to keep pushing forward with that goal in mind of continuing to provide housing and each of these projects takes 3-5 years from concept to finish. It’s a constant process of starting, going through the grunt work of getting it off the ground, finishing it, having people move in and thinking about the next one while you’re celebrating and being pleased for the people who have a new home to live in.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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