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Our tenants speak about Covid-19

Posted on April 1, 2020

We asked staff to talk to some of our tenants to see how they are doing. Here’s what they had to say:

“This is so surreal – hard to wrap my head around. I was laid off and suddenly have all this free time. There’s so much of a struggle with grief – longing for the way things were – we all just want to hug the people we love, and we can’t. I do art on the side and am focusing on that, going for runs – the city is so empty. Looking on the positive side – we’ve been given a chance for introspection and understanding what’s really important to us. That’s a blessing. It’s so important to find the positives.” – Forest Heights tenant

“Our family is holding together well, and have gotten better acquainted with the little beaches in town than we thought possible. We are really conscious of everyday risks now that have the potential to overburden our medical system – I don’t go climbing, and we drive really carefully now. We appreciate your [GVHS’s] proactive efforts to help us be secure during the crisis – we love our home. We are very anxious but this helps so much.” – Forest Heights tenant

“I’m so worried about how all this will work out. I’ve lost all my clients [elder care] – one by one they’ve gone into quarantine. Thank goodness for the rent deferral you’re offering. I miss my community and have to content myself with looking out over this beautiful city and sending it positive energy.” – Sitkum tenant

“I’m very grateful to be in Canada. My family really feels this is the best place we could be right now. Even though we’ve lost our jobs we feel like our city, province, and country stand by us.” – Dahli tenant

Covid-19 update

Posted on March 20, 2020

As a resilient organization we are adjusting our work and plans every single day to make sure our staff and tenants are healthy and safe and to keep the doors to affordable housing open. The non-profit housing sector is banding together to share strategies and best practices. We have the support of our provincial organization, BC Non-Profit Housing Association and our government partners, especially BC Housing. We are so concerned about all the people in our community who face enormous financial and emotional stress. We are aware that the need for affordable housing is going to be greater than ever. Our response is to focus on keeping our core operations open. We are keeping our eyes on a happier future when we can celebrate in the same room! We have faith in our staff and our community to get us through this. Take care everyone.

Scott Garman, Chair of the Board and Kaye Melliship, Executive Director, Greater Victoria Housing Society demonstrating social distancing. Handy tip: the distance is one parking space wide!

The Parsons at Brentwood

Posted on February 24, 2020

GVHS staff and board members were pleased to provide a tour of the Parsons at Brentwood for the family of Peter Parsons, for whom the building is named. Peter was a GVHS Board Member who passed away unexpectedly in December 2007.

Peter played a huge role in community life in Central Saanich and we are proud to honour him with our first building in the community. The tour was provided  for Peter’s wife Natalya and children Tim, Nick and Dominique.

Parsons Family on tour of The Parsons at Brentwood


85 Belmont Road / 1901 Jerome Road

Posted on August 26, 2019

The Greater Victoria Housing Society is excited to share an exclusive preview of our newest proposed affordable housing development located in the City of Colwood. A rezoning application has been submitted to the City of Colwood with a building planned at up to 15 stories. When completed, it would be the tallest mass timber building on Vancouver Island.

The 100 plus unit project is situated in the heart of Colwood within the rapidly growing Colwood Corners district. Located close to amenities including shopping, cafes, restaurants, recreation, parks, trails, and public transport, the building will allow for tenants to live, work, and play all within their community. The building will include a range of units aimed at housing low to moderate income seniors and families.

“We are looking to provide an environmentally sustainable building that will be a zero CO2 emission building and reduce utility bills for our tenants while providing a home that meets their needs as well as be cost effective and quick to build.” – Kaye Melliship, Executive Director of Greater Victoria Housing Society

The Greater Victoria Housing Society will employ an innovative construction method utilizing prefabricated mass timber panels in order to build the 15-storey tower.

“CLT is a mass timber product that replaces concrete and conventional wood construction. The base material is sourced from sustainably managed BC forests and is factory fabricated and can therefore be installed quicker and quieter compared to conventional framing practices.” – Sukh Johal of Canadian Wood Council

Positioned directly off the Galloping Goose trail, the site will include a 180-stall outdoor bicycle pavilion. The pavilion will provide an easy access route on and off the trail, encouraging an active lifestyle for all residents.

“The building design borders two streets, with a simple extrusion and articulation at the base and the top. The bike pavilion and canopies projecting from the base levels, will be designed to engage with the street on a smaller scale, providing an active and welcoming ground plane condition.” – Peter Johannknecht, Principal of Cascadia Architects

Reducing the footprint of the building and building up rather than out, will reduce the CO2 footprint and forego the need to build a costly underground parkade. A surface parking lot will provide parking for the tenants, while plans for a 2nd building of a similar size would be possible in the future.

“Ultimately, the decision to design a mass timber tower stemmed from costing, land use, and environmental implications. The building will be designed to the highest level of the BC Energy Step Code (Net-Zero ready) and will provide much needed affordable rental housing for seniors and families in the City of Colwood.” – Kaye Melliship

For more information please contact:

Kaye Melliship

Executive Director

250-384-3434 ext. 32

Office Closed at 12pm on August 22, 2019

Posted on August 20, 2019

Our office will be closed after 12pm on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 for a staff function. The office will reopen on Friday morning as usual.

Annual General Meeting 2019

Posted on March 22, 2019

Join us for our 62nd Annual General Meeting on April 10, 2018 7:00 pm at the Gorge Vale Golf Club, with keynote speaker Honourable Selina Robinson – Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing – RSVP to

Video: Winner of Non-Profit of the Year – 2018 Greater Victoria Business Awards

Posted on May 28, 2018

Victoria Real Estate Investment Expo

Posted on February 19, 2018

Proud to be the charitable partner for the Victoria Real Estate Investment Expo – March 3, 2018


The Market Stores Sponsor the Home Runners!

Posted on September 28, 2017

The GVHS Home Runners are participating in the Good Life Fitness Marathon running events on Sunday October 8, 2017.   This is our second year as an official charity of the CHEK Charity Pledge Program. The Market Stores are generously supporting us so we can find the motivation to finish the race!

GVHS on the List for PECSF Donations

Posted on September 6, 2017

We are so pleased to receive our first donation from the Provincial Employees Community Services Fund.  The support provided by Provincial Government employees has great local impact.