About Gorge View Society
OUR MISSION: Gorge View Society seeks new opportunities to provide affordable, stable and community focused housing.
OUR VISION: Gorge View Society is an innovative and community-focused housing provider and developer, helping people to live affordably and independently.
Responsible Stewardship – We effectively and efficiently manage our assets and resources to fulfill our mission.
Relationship Focusing – We value individual experiences and differences; our interactions are rooted in respect, kindness, and empathy.
Advocacy – We play an active role in identifying and addressing challenges to the provision of affordable housing.
Community Commitment – We are invested in our tenants and neighbourhood; we foster community engagement, connection, and inclusion.
The Gorge View Society is managed by a small team of paid employees, supported by a dedicated crew of volunteers. Would you like to become a part of our mission to provide sustainable and affordable housing to those who need it? We welcome applications to our Board of Directors from people skilled in finances, fundraising, public relations, construction, planning, etc. We also welcome volunteers for community activities and gardening.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do we come from?
Originally founded by the United Church of Canada, we began in recognition of a need for safe, modest, and comfortable housing for those retiring from church work, who could not afford to pay market rent. We depended upon the local community and volunteers, who would come together to build homes without government assistance. Over time, we extended our reach to include seniors outside of the church who were in need of affordable housing.
What do we do?
For those who are in need and can live independently, we offer affordable, comfortable, and sustainable housing. We are a thoughtful and efficient property manager, committed to providing good housing, at modest cost to our residents for the long term. It is important for us to encourage a strong sense of community among our residents.
Why are we unique?
We own a large piece of land in Victoria’s quiet and convenient Burnside-Gorge neighborhood; the size and the location of the property make it an excellent site for housing and community building. We understand and nurture strong connections between affordable housing, community and our partners. We have foresight; we plan and build with the long term in mind.
Who are our partners?
We have built new partnerships with BC Housing, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the City of Victoria, working together to tackle the affordable housing crisis. We work in collaboration with other non-profit affordable housing providers. And we are invested in building relationships with Island Health and community organisations providing the supports our tenants need. Though we are no longer affiliated with the United Church of Canada, the Church is still a supporter of our work, and we remain committed to the values of our original founders.
Chown Place Master Plan
We are on the frontlines of the housing crisis in Greater Victoria. Every day we receive countless phone calls and knocks on the door from people desperate for homes – people experiencing overwhelming stress from sky-high rents and fear of not having a space to call their own. As a non-profit developer we have a responsibility to respond to the challenge with new partnerships for funding and a clear plan to increase the number of homes we offer.
The future of Chown Place
We have an approved Master Plan for the long-term, phased redevelopment of Chown Place. This will see our aging buildings gradually replaced with apartments and townhouses, offering three times the number of homes we currently have at final buildout. While increasing the density of the site, we’re making sure that we preserve the amount of green space at Chown Place, with gardens for food-growing, outdoor gathering spaces, walking paths and the Garry Oak meadow. The plan includes a community building for residents.
Board of Directors
Erica is a Victoria-based architect and Principal at D’Ambrosio Architecture and Urbanism. With over 20 years of professional experience on commercial, residential and mixed-use projects, Erica brings to the GVS board a strong background in design, collaboration, municipal processes and long-term site planning. Volunteering for GVS is an opportunity to further support housing affordability and community resilience in her own hometown. Erica is a Director on the GVS Board, serving on the Governance and Development Committees.
Gary is a retired lawyer who practiced as a litigator before the BC Court of Appeal, BC Supreme Court, the Federal Trial Division, BC Provincial Court, BC Labour Relations Board, BC Human Rights Tribunal, and labour arbitrations and mediations. He also held an appointment as an arbitrator for Human Resources Development Canada and held many hearings into allegations of unjust dismissal involving staff and employers regulated by our federal government. He has been on the GVS Board since February of 2019 as a form of service to his community. Gary sits on the GVS Executive as Treasurer.
Jan is a retired lawyer with expertise, most recently, in landlord and tenant legislation, legal processes at a provincial level and board governance. Jan has always been interested in the expansion and advancement of one’s training and education, in and above the relation to employment. Over the years this has included continuing legal education, effective legal writing, media training, communications planning, and decision writing. Jan regards housing as the most important issue facing our community and she sees her involvement in GVS as her best way of contributing toward the actual provision of affordable housing and the development of public policy that enables more affordable housing. Jan serves as the Board Chair.
Jim worked as a management consultant skilled at facilitation, project management, strategic planning, financing and economic analysis for a range of clients in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. He has also held senior planning and operating positions with both municipal government and the development industry. Jim is committed to community service by helping to address the major social issue today – affordable housing. A former Treasurer, Vice Chair, Chair, and having chaired the Master Plan Committee, Jim is currently the Chair of the GVS Governance Committee.
Joe has 45 years of professional experience in city planning, development and local government administration. He is a retired city planner and currently operates Molto Bene Enterprises providing consulting services to private and public sector clients. He specializes in affordable housing partnerships and neighbourhood planning best practise. He volunteers on GVS in service of his spiritual vocation to “house the poor”. Joe is on the GVS Executive as Secretary and sits on the Governance Committee.
Dan has 20 years of experience in construction on a diverse array of projects, focusing on design build, construction management, and stipulated price among contracts with a number of both private and public owners. He is currently the Capital Projects Director for the Purdey Group. Dan has volunteered on other industry-specific boards previously, and it is important to him to give back to the community he lives and works in. The ability to help with such a critical issue as affordable housing was the main reason for joining the Gorge View Society’s Board. Dan sits on the Governance and Development Committees.
Mike is retired after a lifetime of military, public and volunteer service. He has extensive experience in real property and project management in both the Canadian Armed Forces and with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; also in procurement and procurement management with Public Works and Government Services Canada as well as the RCMP. Mike is Chair of the Development Committee.
Ron has been in business since the age of 23, when he started a trucking company. Ron went on to build a successful hardware building supply retail business and developed rental commercial real estate. Ron has sat on a number of board, including the Rotary Club and the Make a Wish Foundation. He was also an alderman for the district of Port Hardy. Ron joined the GVS Board as an opportunity to give back to the community. He sits on the Finance and Development Committees.
Howard has 40+ years of experience as a senior leader within the Health and Social Care Systems in both Canada and the UK. Most recently, he was the President and CEO of Vancouver Island’s health care system, and in this role led a number of major hospital and residential care construction and development projects. He currently serves on several Boards and is passionate about addressing and supporting the key determinants of health – one of which is ensuring the provision of safe and affordable housing for everyone. Howard volunteers with GVS to support them in achieving their vision and mission in this area. Howard serves on the Governance and Development Committees.
My name is Corinne Saad and I’m the executive director of the Gorge View Society. With a background in the non-profit sector I’ve seen how foundational safe, secure housing is to individuals’ and families’ ability to thrive. I’m equally committed to the Gorge View Society’s dual role as a non-profit developer, building more affordable homes; and as a non-profit landlord, building community at Chown Place.
Head of Maintenance
I take care of all the repairs and other issues that arise on the premises. Since I’ve been working at Chown Place for over 15 years, I have a good understanding of the buildings, and I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge of our new building.
The work is never boring: balancing the daily emergencies (both large and small) with regular maintenance keeps me very busy.
Support Affordable Housing
We are a registered charity and can provide a tax receipt to donors.
Every donation helps our mission.