Saanich city council has given the green light to a massive housing development that will include the city's tallest building.

The Nigel Valley project, a multi-building $250-million community, will be built in the Uptown area on the corner of Vernon and Nigel avenues.

The project will be capable of housing nearly 800 people, with units dedicated for affordable housing, supportive housing for people with physical disabilities and for those with mental disabilities. Market value units will help to subsidize the project.

"It's going to house many more handicapped people together in a very protected area," said area resident Sandy Emerson. "The townhouses have been sitting here empty, there's 22 of them, and all those homeless people have no place to go."

It's the result of a cooperative proposal from several social agencies, a developer and BC Housing that was called ground-breaking by city councillors.

"For the most vulnerable in our community, we want the best," said Saanich Coun. Susan Brice. "Their tag line was 'better together,' and council felt it was."

The Garth Homer Society, which caters to adults with developmental disabilities, will be part of the community rebuild.

"Starting not with, 'Hey, we want to build this building,' but with 'Hey we want to do this for people,' is the way you get things right," said Garth Homer Society CEO Mitchell Temkin.

Parks, pathways and Saanich's tallest building at 16 storeys will be built in multiple phases, with the first phase expected to be complete in 2020.