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Dragonfly Commons Project Closure

     Dragonfly Commons Housing Society has been working for the past eight years to produce 30 individually-owned units of affordable workforce housing.  During that time, we have experienced many highs and lows and unparalleled community support.

     Our timing for this project was not optimal, as it coincided with the North Salt Spring Waterworks (NSSW) moratorium on new construction, as well as with the provincial government’s new water legislation, The Water Sustainability Act of 2016.  Even though both of these factors significantly complicated the process, we are proud of the fact that after years of perseverance, we were able to license the two artesian wells that we drilled on site, easily sufficient for the 30 homes.  We were unable to complete the final step which required us to partner with one of the two entities on the island that have a water utility equivalency.  We first attempted to partner with NSSW which led to two years of frustration.  Three years ago, with the encouragement of Gary Holman, we pivoted to partner with the CRD.  This initially looked very promising but due to a number of factors including staff turnover, Covid but primarily due to a tragic disconnect between our elected representative’s enthusiasm for the project and inability to direct local staff, has caused numerous delays over the past three years, which continue to this day.  It is sad that we have little or no local control over CRD senior staff on this island and have to rely on people in Victoria who are well-intentioned but do not have our best interests top of mind.

     Additionally, during the eight years that we have worked on this project we have seen the cost of construction skyrocket to the point where it is more than double what it was at the time we started.  As a result of the significant increase in costs, what started off as a project targeting low income earners had mutated into a project that would only be accessible to medium income earners which was not what incented us to initiate this project.

     The frustrations that we have experienced over the years have made us want to quit on a number of occasions, but we have persevered and have made every effort to make this work, in large part due to the incredible support of our board, elected representatives, and numerous members of the community.  We would like to especially thank our board members Kisae Petersen, Robin Williams, Ron Cooke and Rhonan Heitzmann.

     Sadly, we do not feel that we are close to completing this project and no longer have the enthusiasm and energy necessary to continue.  It is our intention over the next few months to wind down the Society and to sell the property.  If anyone feels they have the means and interest to pursue this project we would be happy to discuss it with you to see if there is a fit, in which case we will provide whatever assistance we can.    

Fernando and Tammy Dos Santos

dragonflycommons@gmail.com

Who is this project for?

We are focusing on creating an affordable neighbourhood for a diverse community of working people on Salt Spring with a range from low to middle-income levels.

The criteria is still evolving but will prioritize Salt Spring residents with employment on Salt Spring, especially in the health-care & social services field.

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Dragonfly Announcement

     Dragonfly Commons Housing Society has been working for the past eight years to produce 30 individually-owned units of affordable workforce housing.  During that time, we have experienced many highs and lows and unparalleled community support.        Our timing for this project was not optimal, as it coincided with the North Salt …

Dragonfly presents at ASK Salt Spring – August 26, 2022

ASK Salt Spring explores housing with the team from Dragonfly Commons not-for-profit housing project Sixteen joined this ASK Salt Spring gathering for fascinating discussion of Workforce Housing led by special guests Tami and Fernando dos Santos and Rhonan Heitzmann. After our Territorial Acknowledgement, they began by speaking about their challenges and successes addressing Salt Spring’s …

About Us

Our initial hardworking and resourceful steering committee included members with background in affordable housing, law, financing, architecture, project planning, computer science, geology, etc.

In 2017, we become an incorporated non-profit society and elected board members who are experienced in affordable housing on Salt Spring Island and bring a diverse set of skills and experience.

Board of Directors of Dragonfly Commons Housing Society
Fernando Dos Santos
Tammy Dos Santos
Kisae Petersen
Ron Cooke
Robin Williams
Rhonan Heitzmann

Initial Steering Committee:
Chas Belknap
Ron Cooke
Jean Gelwicks
Donald Gunn
Rhonan Heitzmann
Peter Lamb
Jane Patterson
Kisae Petersen
Cora Platz
Robin Williams

Maps and Photos

Dragonfly Commons driveway
Top of the driveway
Dragonfly Pond