(This story is sponsored by the Aboriginal Land Trust.)
Home ownership should be an option for everyone, not just the top earners in society. But with the red-hot real estate market, the majority of Vancouver’s population has no choice but to rent and pay off someone else’s mortgage.
With an eye to affordable housing, the Aboriginal Land Trust and Lu’ma Native Housing Society have developed a building that is within reach of tenants who want to buy their own home.
Located in the vibrant neighborhood of Strathcona, it celebrates indigenous cultures and offers studios, lofts, and one- and two-bedroom homes to people of all backgrounds.
“The lands where Ch’ich’iyúy is built are the traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations and were an important gathering place before colonization,” explains Dr. Dave Baspaly. , board member at the Aboriginal Land Trust.
In addition to the community’s inclusive vibe, there are several other reasons why Ch’ich’iyúy should be your next home.
It is cost effective
Ch’ich’iyúy opens the door to home ownership for those who would otherwise not have this opportunity.
Buyers based on gross annual household income, starting at $48,000 with an upper limit of $185,000. A home can be secured for as little as 1 percent of the home’s value with flexible payment schedules offered to reach 5 to 20 percent of the mortgage value before being occupied. Due to its income constraint and lower down payment options, the building is ideal for young couples, different family structures and recent high school graduates.
“Our affordable homeownership model makes it possible to own a new home in the heart of the city,” says Dr. Baspaly. “It is a community-oriented building that celebrates the indigenous peoples and honors the history of the land it stands on. Ch’ich’iyúy is an indigenous-owned and operated non-profit organization that is truly the first of its kind in Canada.”
Monthly housing costs are capped at 30 percent of your gross monthly income, making it within the federal affordability standard.
Homeowners can use the equity they have built up with this first home purchase as a stepping stone into the wider real estate market in the future or settle in and stay. Pets are welcome and owners must live in their home as rentals are not allowed.
It features abundant amenities
It was incredibly important to the Aboriginal Land Trust that the building had several places to gather and share meals as this promotes a sense of community. At Ch’ich’iyúy you’ll find communal areas such as fire pits, dining areas and a Coast Salish Longhouse on the roof. There are also raised garden beds for residents with green fingers.
The 11th floor has a wellness terrace, sports floor and play area for children.
Each home has a dishwasher, a three-piece bathroom with a tub, and a private laundry room. This means you don’t have to collect coins or hunt for your clean clothes when someone takes them from the vending machine.
“The market has discounted home ownership for so many people, so we’re rethinking the model,” said Dr. Baspaly. “We are able to bring home ownership within the reach of tenants and do it in a way that is much more than just living.”
Central location of the building
Strathcona has quickly become one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Vancouver as it is packed with trendy restaurants and cafes serving delicious coffee and pastries. Those living in the area are also close to the downtown area, which is easily accessible by public transport, bicycle or vehicle.
Foodies can take full advantage of the popular restaurants near Ch’ich’iyúy, including Ask for Luigi, Cuchillo, Phnom Penh Restaurant, Marcello Pizzeria, Kissa Tanto, the Union, and more.
La Casa Gelato, just off Venables Street, is sure to be a hit with dessert lovers and families as it serves a record-breaking 238 flavors.
As well as an impressive selection of eateries, the neighborhood boasts several schools, community centers, supermarkets, bars and public green spaces. Maclean Park and Strathcona Linear Park are among the favorites of visitors and those living in the area.
The unique exterior design
The beautiful building is named after Ch’ich’iyúy Elxwíkn, translated as Twin Sisters, also known to settlers as the Lions – the mountain’s two prominent peaks are visible from the development.
“Ch’ich’iyúy’s design tries to tell the story of the Twin Sisters in form and detail, and you can see the peaks in the building’s facade,” reveals Dr. Baspaly. “Giant murals by a native artist obscure some of the building’s exterior walls, creating an iconic, cultural statement in the Strathcona neighborhood”
To view the floor plans, †
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