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Affordable urban homeownership is now possible, thanks to new Indigenous-owned development

Ch’ich’iyúy, in Strathcona, was created as a modern, accessible solution to Vancouver’s unaffordable housing market
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Open the door to affordable homeownership at Ch’ich’iyúy in Vancouver. Photo credit: Aboriginal Land Trust.

The dream of homeownership has never been out of reach for as many Vancouverites as it is today.

In fact, the recently released Housing Affordability Monitor report from the National Bank of Canada says “Vancouver remained the least affordable city in Canada in which to buy a dwelling” in the first quarter of 2022.

But now, a new opportunity has arrived that makes urban homeownership a possibility for families, couples and individuals who have long wanted to own a home but have consistently felt priced out of the market.

Ch’ich’iyúy is a new development coming to 401 Jackson Avenue in the popular Strathcona neighbourhood. A striking 13-storey building consisting of studio, loft, 1- and 2-bedroom homes, Ch’ich’iyúy is the first non-profit, Indigenous-owned, affordable homeownership community housing development in Canada. It was created by the Aboriginal Land Trust and Lu’ma Native Housing Society to make urban homeownership accessible for all Vancouverites, in a welcoming community that celebrates Indigenous Peoples and cultures.​

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Ch’ich’iyúy offers homeownership in Vancouver without the lifestyle sacrifice. Photo: Aboriginal Land Trust.

​Ch’ich’iyúy offers the best of both worlds, in that owners enjoy the security of homeownership and the payment predictability of rent. Additional benefits include:

  • A flexible, below-market down-payment schedule that allows time to build a deposit
  • Monthly payments capped at 30 percent of gross household income
  • Long-term savings (equity) that you can take with you if you sell

Buyers qualify based on gross annual household income – ranging from about $49k to $174k – and a home can be secured with an initial deposit of as little as 1 percent of the home’s value.

Yet these benefits and savings don’t mean the homes at Ch’ich’iyúy are anything less than a prospective buyer would expect in a modern urban home. Each suite, ranging from 390 square feet (studio) to 863 square feet (two-bedroom), offers thoughtful design and premium amenities, including in-suite laundry and built-in appliances (dishwasher, fridge, wall oven, cooktop and microwave), three-piece bathroom, built-in or on-site storage, and a choice of floor plans and décor themes. Suites are also pet-friendly, so the whole family is welcome!

As well, the building itself boasts indoor and outdoor gathering spaces including a Coast Salish longhouse that accommodates 70 people; a Sky Garden offering mountain views, a community BBQ, and an outdoor children’s play area; an urban forest area with plant species native to the Pacific Northwest and Squamish Estuary; an outdoor fitness area; raised garden beds; secure fob access and much more. Plus, Ch’ich’iyúy’s central location means residents are just steps from parks, schools, transit, community centres, restaurants and cafés.

Ch’ich’iyúy is named after Ch’ich’iyúy Elxwíkn (Chay-chay-yoy Ull-x-wake-un), the mountain peaks on the North Shore that watch over the traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Peoples.​

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Ch’ich’iyúy celebrates Indigenous Peoples and cultures and welcomes everyone. Photo: Aboriginal Land Trust featuring artwork by Cory Douglas.

​To add cultural connection through Indigenous artwork, a large-scale art piece will prominently feature on the exterior of the building. Additional art and interpretive graphics will be commissioned by local Indigenous artists and incorporated throughout the building.

“The initial response to this development has been amazing,” says Claire Marshall, a board member of Lu’ma Native Housing Society. “We have sold more than 50 percent of the first round of pre-sale homes in just a few months. It’s exciting to be offering a first-in-Canada solution to meet affordability and lifestyle needs in one place.”

A limited supply of pre-sale homes are available now! Ch’ich’iyúy prioritizes Indigenous Peoples, but is open to all. To learn more and to find out if you qualify, visit chichiyuy.ca or sign-up for the virtual information session, taking place on June 28.