Saanich had a great showing at this year’s Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence (CARE) Awards, with one local councillor getting recognized for his work to provide affordable housing in the district.
On Saturday, Coun. Fred Haynes received the Building Better Futures Community Award for his “political leadership supporting housing affordability, policy review and regulatory reform.” The award is a first of its kind in the 75-year history of the Victoria Residential Builders Association, which put on the awards show.
“It was a delightful surprise,” said Haynes. “I thought I was going there to help with the presentations, particularly for some of the awards that were given to developments in Saanich.”
Haynes’ efforts to improve housing affordability have resulted in numerous resolutions before Saanich council, the Capital Regional District and the Union of B.C. Municipalities, including reviews of renovation tax credits, property transfer taxes, seniors housing and building code changes.
“Housing affordability is a serious concern,” said Haynes. “Affordable workplace housing, housing for the homeless, supported housing, co-op housing are all serious concerns.
“[The award] highlights the ongoing need, but also the attention that we’re trying to give to where the costs are for housing in our region.”
Through a letter campaign that came out of his resolutions, Haynes has received the attention of MLAs and MPs across the country, including Canada’s housing minister, putting a spotlight on housing affordability beyond Saanich and Vancouver Island.
“The point is to amplify the issue of affordability up to the provincial and the federal level,” he said.
Other Saanich properties and developers took home plaques at the Oct. 17 ceremony. More than 50 awards were presented, with 275 builders, renovators, designers, trades and suppliers in attendance.
Uptown Place by Homewood Constructors Ltd. took Best Condominium Project or Mixed-Use Development for its first phase, while Rainbow Hill by Aplomado Developments Ltd. won Best Multi-Family / Townhouse Project.
Saanich’s Jenny Martin Design also cleaned up, winning four Gold awards in the categories of Best Interior Residential (3,000 to 4,000 square feet), Best Residential Renovation or Restoration ($200,000 to $325,000), Best Master Suite under 400 sq. ft. and Best Master Suite over 400 sq. ft.
Other multiple Gold winners included Abstract Developments, Christopher Developments, Concert Real Estate Corporation, Denford Construction Management Ltd., Gorter Construction Ltd., Homewood Constructors Ltd., Jason Good Custom Cabinets, Jason Powell Construction, Jenny Martin Design, KB Design, Limona Group, Parsi Development Ltd., R. Parsons Construction Ltd., South Shore Cabinetry, The Sky is the Limit Design, Thomas Philips Woodworking, Three Sixty Degree Construction Ltd., Urban Core Ventures, Verity Construction, and Zebra Design.
“Congratulations to the Gold CARE Award winners and finalists for their outstanding projects highlighting creativity, craftsmanship and sustainability,” said Bill Patterson, chair of the 2015 CARE Awards, in a statement.