This is in response to the letter in your July 27 edition entitled: “Project out of scale with neighbourhood”.
Greater Victoria Housing Society, a registered charity and non-profit housing organization, has provided housing for low-income households at Townley Lodge at 1780 Townley St. for nearly 50 years. As a long-term member of this neighbourhood we care deeply about its future. I am writing to set the record straight with respect to our plans to redevelop this property.
We have two goals for this site: to address critical housing needs in our community; and, to combat climate change with our choice of building technology. We are working completely within the established planning process and exceed expectations for consultation. Over 30 design changes have been made in response to input from neighbours (including changes to height and density), we have held four open houses, met individually with many neighbours and are in regular communication with the Camosun Residents Association, planning staff and elected officials to ensure everyone is aware of our plans and that we are aware of all requirements and expectations of us.
Our proposal responds to the unprecedented need for affordable rental housing for seniors and families. Many are calling the times we live in “a housing crisis.” As an experienced housing provider, with a valuable asset in the land at Townley Lodge, we take our stewardship and fiduciary responsibilities seriously. The site calls for a modern and forward-looking approach to design and density. We are providing leadership by setting a new benchmark for environmental performance in building to the Passive House standard. We are retaining trees and planting new trees at a ratio of 6:1 and using modern materials and approaches to improve the water permeability of the site.
We invite the community to meet with us to gain a better understanding of the project and learn more about our contribution to “Sustainable Saanich.”
Kaye Melliship, executive director
Greater Victoria Housing Society