(This story is sponsored by the Aboriginal Land Trust.)
Homeownership should be an option for everyone—not just for 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, paying off someone else’s mortgage.
With affordable housing in mind, the Aboriginal Land Trust and Lu’ma Native Housing Society developed a building that is within reach of renters looking to purchase a place of their own.
Located in the vibrant Strathcona neighbourhood, Ch’ich’iyúy celebrates Indigenous cultures while providing studio, loft, and one- and two-bedroom homes to folks from 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,” shares Dr. Dave Baspaly, board member at the Aboriginal Land Trust.
In addition to its inclusive community atmosphere, there are several other reasons why Ch'ich'iyúy should be your next home.
Ch'ich'iyúy opens the door to homeownership for those who otherwise wouldn’t have this opportunity.
Buyers qualify based on a gross annual household income, starting at $48,000 with an upper limit of $185,000. A home can be secured for as low as 1 percent of the home’s value with flexible payment schedules offered to reach 5 to 20 percent of the mortgage value before moving in. Because of the income restriction and lower down payment options, the building is ideal for young couples, a variety of family structures, and recent postsecondary graduates.
“Our affordable homeownership model makes owning a new home in the heart of the city possible,” says Dr. Baspaly. “It’s a community-oriented building that celebrates Indigenous peoples and honours the history of the land that it sits on. As a nonprofit, Indigenous-owned and operated development, Ch'ich'iyúy is really 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 standard of affordability.
Homeowners can use the equity they build from this first home purchase as a stepping stone into the broader real estate market in the future or put down roots and stay. Pets are welcomed and owners must live in their home as rentals are not permitted.
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 fosters a sense of community. At Ch'ich'iyúy, you’ll find communal areas like fire pits, dining areas, and a Coast Salish Longhouse on the rooftop. There are also raised garden beds for residents with a green thumb.
The 11th floor features a wellness deck, sports floor, and play space for children.
Each home has a dishwasher, three-piece bathroom with a tub, and in-suite laundry. This means you won’t have to collect coins or hunt down your clean clothes if someone removes them from the machine.
“The market has priced so many people out of homeownership, which is why we’re rethinking the model,” says Dr. Baspaly. “We are able to bring homeownership within reach of renters and are doing so in a way that is so much more than just housing.”
The building’s central location
Strathcona has quickly become one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in Vancouver as it’s filled with trendy restaurants and cafés that serve up delicious coffee and baked goods. Those living in the area are also close to the downtown core, which can be conveniently accessed by transit, bike, or vehicle.
Foodies can take full advantage of the popular restaurants located close to Ch'ich'iyúy, which include Ask for Luigi, Cuchillo, Phnom Penh Restaurant, Marcello Pizzeria, Kissa Tanto, the Union, and more.
La Casa Gelato, located nearby on Venables Street, is sure to be a hit among dessert enthusiasts and families as it serves a record-breaking 238 flavours.
On top of an impressive selection of dining options, the neighbourhood boasts several schools, community centres, grocery stores, bars, and public green spaces. Maclean Park and Strathcona Linear Park are among the favourites of visitors and folks living in the area.
Its unique exterior design
The gorgeous building is named after Ch’ich’iyúy Elxwíkn, translated as Twin Sisters, otherwise known to settlers as the Lions—the mountain’s two prominent peaks are visible from the development.
“Ch'ich'iyúy’s design seeks to tell the story of the Twin Sisters in form and details, and you can see the peaks in the building façade,” reveals Dr. Baspaly. “Giant murals by an Indigenous artist cloak some of the building's exterior walls, creating an iconic, cultural statement in the Strathcona neighbourhood”
To check out the floor plans, click here.
For more information, visit www.chichiyuy.ca/.