What is Headwaters?
Headwaters are two separate rental apartment buildings being developed by Catalyst Community Developments Society on land leased from THC and funded by BC Housing, CMHC, the Rural Dividend Fund, the THC and the District. They are located at 366 and 363 Peterson Drive in the Tonquin neighbourhood.
The two buildings - Headwaters North: 35 units, Headwaters South: 37 units - have a mix of studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom units that will be rented to tenants who meet the residency and other eligibility criteria described below.
When are applications for the rental housing available?
The application forms will be released closer to the August 2023 application deadline (June likely) and will be available here and at www.catalystcommdev.org
To make sure you do not miss the application deadline please sign up for the THC mailing list.
The application, tenant selection and tenancy process for rental homes at Headwaters North (35 units) and Headwaters South (37 units) is anticipated to follow the approximate schedule below:
If you want to be considered for tenancy be sure to sign up for THC's mailing list and you will be notified of the timing for the public meetings and application deadlines.
When will homes be ready for move-in?
Various construction delays related to updated geotechnical specifications, BC Hydro installation and other items means Headwaters North is now expected to be complete by about October 2023 with residents able to move into these new homes no sooner than December 1st, 2023. The construction of the second building, Headwaters South, is expected to be finished in time for an early 2024 move-in.
Who will be moving in?
The new rental units at Headwaters will be allocated 20% to those on fixed incomes (e.g. disability, seniors on limited pension, those on social assistance), 50% to those with lower incomes - with rents at 30% of household income (rent-geared to income – RGI units) and 30% of the units will be average market rents. Maximum permitted household income for each of these rental types is based on BC Housing guidelines. For example, for a 1-bedroom RGI unit, a household’s maximum income would have to be approximately $62,000 or less; if household income was $35,000 per year the household would pay $875 a month. For a market 1-bedroom rental unit, the household maximum income would be $82,310 a year (in 2023) and rent will be $1,550. Priority will be given to those who have lived in the region 2 out of 3 years, and for RGI and market units, priority will be given to those who have been working full-time in Tofino for 1 year, or who are seniors or essential workers. Final rental rates and maximum incomes could still be adjusted.
What are the tenant eligility requirements?
Residency: Living 24 of previous 36 months in the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District; AND
Employment Requirement*: Have been working for 1 year full-time in Tofino, or for Island Health or for the Parks, or is a Senior or is on Disability.
Are an “Essential Worker”: Essential worker means a person working in public or non-profit health and mental health care, BC Ambulance Service, RCMP, critical utility and infrastructure workers holding specialized certifications, a teacher, principal, vice-principal or education assistant in the public school system or child-care worker.
Real Estate: No real estate owned by the household
Income: See below
* Working full-time means someone who has worked at least an average of at least 26 hours per week, year-round, and in the case of self-employment, means employment from which an individual earns at least 90% of his or her annual income; if your job was interrupted by closures or reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic and your employer can confirm this in writing, then you will still be eligible.
How much will the monthly rental be?
There will be three types of rentals mixed together in both buildings.
Unit Type Rent Income Low Income High
Studio $1,150 $34,500 $82,310
1 Bedroom $1,550 $41,500 $82,310
2 Bedroom $1,950 $52,000 $128,810
3 Bedroom $2,300 $62,000 $128,810
Rent-Geared-to Income (RGI)
Unit Type Avg. Rent ** Income Low Income High
Studio $1,085 $21,000 $62,000
1 Bedroom $1,085 $21,000 $62,000
2 Bedroom $1,304 $26,000 $74,500
3 Bedroom $1,461 $26,000 $83,500
** NOTE: Actual rent in RGI units is 30% of gross (before tax) household income and will change from year to year based on changes in household income
Deep Subsidy - BC Shelter Rate
Unit Type Rent Income Low Income High
Studio $375 $15,000 $21,946
1 Bedroom $375 $15,000 $21,946
2 Bedroom $570 $22,500 $26,600
3 Bedroom $665 $23,940 $26,600
Partial answers to Common Questions - for details on these answers view the Catalyst presentation. If you can't find the answer here please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your question.
1. How are units allocated? They will be allocated by three different lotteries from applications received.
Within each lottery, applicants with minor dependents (18 and under) or dependents with disabilities will be prioritised (e.g. all such applicants will be in a priority sub-lottery for each rental type above for the 2- and 3-bedroom units only ).
Per the proposed new lottery rules you will get an extra entry in the lottery if:
Maximum number of entries is 5 if you have lived in Tofino more than 11 yrs and you were on the Creekside waitlist by March 1st, 2023.
2. If I applied to Creekside do I need to reapply? Yes.
3. Can I make two applications? No - every household must make one application to one unit size (e.g. studio or 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom) to one rent type (e.g. market, RGI or deep subsidy). You can indicate a 2nd preference that could become a possibility if not all units are filled initially. This also means you and your partner/spouse make only one application. If you are applying to live with roommates - all roommates must be eligible tenants and remember 2 and 3 bedroom units will be prioritized first to those with dependents.
4. Can I have pets? Yes, but only 1 dog and 1 cat. Not 2 dogs. Medium sized breeds and below. Pet deposit required.
5 Are the income criteria gross or net income? It is gross household income - basically a sum of line 15000 (formerly 150) on all the household income earners.
6. Why do I have to show bank accounts? To confirm what you are showing as income sources on your application are complete and accurate.
7. What if I work at more than one job or have a job and am self employed? The variety of jobs you hold will be used to see if you meet the full-time requirement (average of 26 hours per week, 1352 hours per year). If you have income from a job(s) and also Tofino focused self-employment income we will determine an hourly equivalent for the self-employment portion.
8. Can my new partner/spouse live with me? Yes. Additional persons who are not eligible tenants, but who are residing with them in "a single domestic unit and related by blood, marriage or other spousal relationship, adoption, or foster parenthood" are permitted. After initial move-in new household members living in the unit must be added to the tenancy by contacting the property manager, Ardent Properties.
9. Will I have to move out if my household income exceeds the maximum? This rarely happens at Catalyst-owned properties but it is possible. Keep in mind:
10. How does the parking work? There will be 1 parking stall for most tenants, charged at $25 a month. Allocation will be by lottery. If there are extra stalls there may be a possibility of 2 stalls, but for a select few only. Some of the parking for Headwaters North will be at Headwaters South.
11. Is there bike parking and extra storage? Yes. There will be some bike parking and only limited extra storage. Details on amounts and how these are being allocated are still being determined.
12. What appliances come with the home? Fridge, stove and dishwasher. There are free-to-use, washers and dryers in each building (in a common room.
13. How can I be self-employed if I need a business licence and Home Occupation is not permitted by zoning at Headwaters? THC will be seeking a zoning amendment to allow office-based Home Occupations that do not receive clients to your home.
Where are construction workers going to park?
On-site or in pre-arranged locations, but not on the existing portion of Leighton Way or Peterson Road except when the Peterson Drive extension is fully closed.
Will there be more blasting?
Perhaps a little. Some additional blasting may be required, but the majority is now complete for the two Headwaters Apartments. The blasting contractor will provide notice to nearby residents. Development of the duplex lots will also require blasting at a to be determined later date.
What are the expected construction work hours?
The timing of construction work will comply with the District of Tofino bylaws and is expected to be between 7 am and 7 pm, Monday to Friday.
Is access to Tonquin Trail being maintained?
The access to Tonquin Trail from Leighton Way / Peterson Drive was closed for safety reasons, but was reopened in October 2022. The Tonquin Connector from Community Centre now closed and not re-opened until the construction of Headwaters South is completed in late 2023/early 2024. The trail will be realigned to accommodate Headwaters South. Access to Tonquin Beach and the trail network is still available from the Tonquin Park Road trailhead.
What road improvements are planned?
The Peterson Drive / Leighton Way intersection will be altered slightly and will include stop signs. Speed humps and a painted pedestrian zone will be added to Leighton Way. The extension to Peterson Drive will include a marked pedestrian path and on-street parking.
When will the improvements to Leighton Way be completed?
The speed humps and roadside painted pedestrian zone will be completed in late 2023.
How is the environment being protected?
Current Environmental, a professional environmental consultant with Registered Professional Biologists, completed an environmental report that forms the basis of the Development Permit related to riparian area conservation issued by the District of Tofino. Current Environmental are engaged to monitor construction and environmental mitigation measures. Current Environmental is also completing a pre-development bird nest survey to confirm the absence of nesting birds prior to tree removal.
What is happening with the felled trees?
The cut trees will be used as nurse logs within the landscaping adjacent to the roadside ditches. If there is a surplus, the logs will be donated to the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation for their use (firewood or otherwise).
How is stormwater being managed?
McElhanney Engineering completed an assessment of the post-development stormwater amount and flows, and resulting downstream conditions. The Headwaters building sites are draining into the wetlands and then into Centennial and Tonquin Creeks. A small weir is recommended for the wet area east of Headwaters North. The McElhanney assessment also indicated that some stormwater detention is required on the duplex lots for water flowing towards Leighton Way / Peterson Drive so that post-development stormwater flows are similar to pre-development flows.
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