Denman Community Land Trust Association
Denman Island B.C. Canada
 
 

Island Grapevine


December 17, 2015


ALR Exclusion Application and Seniors' Affordable Housing


The Notice of Exclusion, which appeared in the December 3rd and 10th issues of the Grapevine, is part of DCLTA's proposed Seniors' Affordable Housing Project on "Parcel M." This property is tucked back from Denman Road and connected to it by a narrow lane running north, immediately west of the Guest House parking area.


An application for the necessary bylaw changes to "Parcel M" cannot be made until the land is no longer designated as within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). This application to exclude four acres is being linked with recent ALR inclusions totalling twelve acres on Denman Island. 


The exclusion process and the final decision rest with the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC). First, however, the Local Trust Committee will review the exclusion application and forward its recommendations for ALC consideration. The Notice of Exclusion and application details are posted on a large sign at the foot of the lane into the property.


submitted by Harlene Holm





Island Grapevine Insert


December 3, 2015


Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA)



DCLTA’s Project 2 — Seniors’ Affordable Housing — has just received a CMHC Seed Funding grant to cover preliminary costs. We are currently:


preparing to apply for rezoning and subdivision by

    completing the land survey

    negotiating the transfer of the easement access

    applying for the parcel’s exclusion from the ALR


utilizing the donated Hornby Elder Housing Unit 1 & 2 floor plans to create a detailed duplex design incorporating passive (low energy) house standards, solar power and all that makes a dwelling feel like home.


In 2016, DCLTA will continue to work, step by step, on the Seniors’ Affordable Housing Project and to seek additional affordable housing opportunities.


DCLTA extends a heartfelt thank you to those on island who donated ideas, expertise, money, labour, materials and Bottle Depot contributions; and, for the generous support of the CVRD Grant-In-Aid program and the Hornby Elder Housing Society.


A DCLTA annual membership is $5.00. A donation of $20 or more covers both a membership and an official tax receipt. As always, DCLTA’s wish list includes bequests and donations of land.






Island Grapevine


November 19, 2015


Solar Power Presentation


November 25There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to solar technologies. The Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) will share its recent research on the subject at a free, public presentation Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Back Hall. Stephanie Slater will summarize the DCLTA solar research and Dave Nead, General Manager of the  non-profit group GabEnergy (www.gabenergy.com), will describe solar technology options and how they are being applied in the Gulf Islands.


The DCLTA plans to build an eight-unit housing complex for seniors. Board members wanted to know if solar energy offers a viable option to meet or support the association’s goal of creating a safe, comfortable housing complex that is affordable for its low-income residents and economical for the society to build and maintain.


The board particularly wanted to know if solar energy could provide back-up power for light and water supply if the BC Hydro grid is unavailable.


The association’s research — supported by a grant-in-aid from the Comox Valley Regional District — shows that solar energy is viable for the affordable seniors housing project because it could contribute to the DCLTA’s overall goals. It is not, however, the most effective or least costly option to provide back-up power for the complex.


The research also indicates that solar energy would be most effectively used if the housing project incorporates at least some Passive House Standards, which use passive solar and other design and construction techniques to greatly enhance a building’s energy efficiency.


The solar research and other reports prepared for the DCLTA are posted on the association’s website: www.denmanaffordablehousing.org.


submitted by Stephanie Slater





Flagstone


November 2015



Solar Power and Affordable Housing – a Match Made in Heaven?


Solar technology: is it a viable option for the rainy, wet coast? This is a question the Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) set out to answer with the help of a grant from the Comox Valley Regional District.


The DCLTA plans to build an eight-unit housing complex for seniors. Board members wanted to know if solar energy offers a viable option to meet or support the association’s goal of creating a safe, comfortable housing complex that is affordable for its low-income residents and economical for the society to build and maintain.


The board particularly wanted to know if solar energy could provide back-up power for light and water supply if the BC Hydro grid is unavailable.


The association’s research shows that solar energy is viable for the affordable seniors housing project because it could contribute to the DCLTA’s overall goals. It is not, however, the most effective or least costly option to provide back-up power for the complex. The research also indicates that solar energy would be most effectively used if the housing project incorporates at least some Passive House Standards, which use passive solar and other design and construction techniques to greatly enhance a building’s energy efficiency.


Solar Power Overview


Solar power is generated with photovoltaic systems, also known as solar PV. They convert sunlight into electricity. Solar modules are available in many sizes, voltages and formats. The most commonly used modules are rigid and mounted to frames either on the roof or on the ground.


Some people wonder if solar energy is a viable option for the British Columbia West Coast. This concern was valid when solar collection systems were expensive and not nearly as efficient as they are today. However, with the dramatic advances in solar technology over the past decade - accompanied by equally dramatic price drops - solar energy is most definitely a viable option for the Denman Island climate.


And while our West Coast climate may be not be the one that first comes to mind when people talk about sunshine, the Courtenay-Comox region receives an average of 1,926 sunshine hours a year. Germany - one of the leading countries to use solar technology - receives 1,625 sunshine hours a year in Berlin.


Solar power is a good fit for our energy climate as well as our physical climate.  Between 2010-2013, BC Hydro increased electricity rates by over 20 per cent. Annual increases that will compound to 29 per cent are planned between 2014 and by 2019, making the investment in solar power increasingly attractive.


Solar Power – the Nuts and Bolts


Solar PV performance is measured in kilowatt hours, or kW.hs. This refers to the amount of energy produced by the PV module and is represented as kW per square metre of PV surface. One solar module is about 18 square feet. Twenty to 22 modules (approximately 400 square feet) would provide a 5 kW system that would produce 5,000 – 6,000 kW.h per year with net metering (more on that below).


An example of solar production levels and typical household energy usage comes from GabEnergy, a registered non-profit society based on Gabriola Island that works with communities in B.C. to explore, plan, develop, and operate alternative and renewable energy systems.


On its website, GabEnergy says: “On Gabriola Island we average about 1,940 hours of sunshine per year which means that for every 1,000 watt of panels installed, the user will get between 1,000-1,200 kilowatt-hours (kW.h) of electricity… [T]he average house here consumes approximately 12,000 kW.h annually although much depends on the size of the house, construction and insulation, method of heating, appliances, lighting, and habits of the occupants.”


Solar PV modules are virtually maintenance-free and long lasting, with a lifespan that is usually guaranteed for 25 years, although observations and projections based on installations in the U.S. and Europe say it’s not unreasonable to expect a lifespan of up to 40 years.


With solar PV systems, the price varies depending on how much energy the homeowner would like to generate. Today in B.C., the average current installed system price per watt for a direct grid-tie system is under $4 per watt, a drop from $12 per watt five years ago.


Grid Tie and Net Metering


The term grid-tie refers to a solar power system that is hooked – or tied – into the power grid. Most solar users opt for this because the power grid acts as a free back-up system. The local hydro company supplements the energy produced by the customer’s solar panels. The accounting system applies the customer’s summer solar surplus to the winter deficit. Any excess generation credit at the end of the customer’s anniversary date is credited to the account. Hence the term “net metering.”


Grid tie systems are the most efficient and economical way to use solar power (as opposed to having a battery back-up system or being completely off the grid) however, when the grid goes down the solar system shuts down for safety. In this case, a generator is the most cost-effective back-up system.


Energy Efficiency


Advances in solar energy systems and applications are remarkable and exciting, however, it’s important to remember that energy efficiency is the greatest form of new energy we have. That means that before we consider installing any type of energy system, we first consider how best to lower energy consumption by reducing demand, eliminating waste energy and reducing energy loss.


Public Presentation Nov. 25


There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to energy efficient construction and solar technologies. The DCLTA wants to share its research and offer a forum for further discussion. It is sponsoring a free public presentation Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Back Hall where Stephanie Slater will summarize the DCLTA solar research and Dave Nead, General Manager of GabEnergy, will describe solar technology options and how they are being applied in the Gulf Islands.


For more resources which are linked from the solar research report that is now posted on the DCLTA website please ~click here. The website also has a report on greywater recycling (see DCLTA projects section). The greywater report and an assessment of seniors' affordable housing needs were also supported by grants-in-aid from the Comox Valley Regional District.


submitted by Stephanie Slater





Flagstone


August 2015



DCLTA (affordable housing) Summer 2015 Update


Project 2:


* Denman Community Land Trust Association’s second project—four duplex units of seniors’ affordable housing—is at the site prep stage prior to applying for the necessary zoning changes. Site prep includes access improvement, a Wastewater Site Evaluation, and proving a source of adequate, potable water.

*  Much of DCLTA’s project work is P2C2E: process too complicated to explain in a single article. Check the DCLTA website for more project details—denmanaffordablehousing.org—click on News File.

*  Thanks to a 2015 Regional District Grant-In-Aid, our Solar Power Integration Project will produce the research and recommendations necessary for DCLTA to make informed decisions in the design of Project 2 to provide backup light and water pump function, and to reduce electrical costs via the BC Hydro Net Metering Program.

* We are at the point wherein donations of ideas and advice are most welcome and useful. Contact us at info@denmanaffordablehousing.org or drop by the DCLTA booth during the August-September Market Days. The booth includes a 3-D model of the prototype duplex unit and a display with area maps and the project layout.


Fundraising & Outreach:


* DCLTA’s Market Day booth features the house-theme quilt created and donated by Jean Cockburn. Draw tickets are available with the winner announced at the October 24 Wearable Art Fashion Show.

* Don’t forget to mark DCLTA’s fourth annual Phantom Ball on your calendar midnight of the autumnal equinox (September 23rd). Tickets can be purchased at Abraxas and at Market Day on the August and September long weekend. The Phantom Ball is a black tie event that you do not have to attend; an imaginary gala that lets you stay home. The ticket says it all




submitted by Harlene Holm





Flagstone


June 2015



Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA)



Did you know that DCLTA already owns one property (2345 Chickadee Road), with a tenant who has moved in and is paying rent?  And another property has been promised which is right downtown and is planned for rental accommodation for seniors in four duplexes, that is eight houses each providing a home for a couple or a single senior?


Anyone who remembers the years of work that islanders, beginning with Mike Comeau and Abbeyfield, have put into trying to find a way to allow seniors and other Denman Islanders with limited means to remain on Denman, will be delighted to realize that their dreams are finally beginning to come true.


How has all this come about?  A brief history of the Association can be found on our website denmanaffordablehousing.org. It began when DCLTA was registered as a non-profit society in 2008, acquiring charitable status in 2009, and years of preparatory work began to bear fruit when two incredibly generous residents offered parts of their properties to DCLTA.  Our first donor was long-time resident Pam Brons, who donated part of her property on Chickadee Road, which runs along the ridge looking west over downtown Denman and Baynes Sound towards the mountains. The directors then spent many hours working through legal issues involving rezoning, transfer of title, tenancy agreement, etc.  If DCLTA had hired a lawyer to do all this work we would now be in debt for several tens of thousands of dollars.  In fact David Critchley, before he became a Trustee, donated his time and expertise, for which the whole island is tremendously grateful.  Next came all the problems involved in building a house – water, septic field, hydro connection, access, and actually building the house.


Our first project has come to a very successful conclusion, and now we are moving into our second project, which is much more challenging.  Where is this property?  It has been offered for sale to DCLTA by Bev Severn, potter, homecare worker and another long-time resident of Denman Island.  If you went on the pottery tour you will have located it on Denman Road.  It is behind the properties on Denman Road right downtown, facing south approximately between the Denman Island Guesthouse and the school.  What an ideal spot for seniors’ homes, steps away from the store, the clinic, the library, the hall and the activity centre.


Go to our website to follow the diary of progress step by step.  A model of one duplex prepared by Michael Rapati was examined at our Annual General Meeting on April 23 together with detailed plans based on the Hornby Island Elder Housing Village, thank you Hornby Island Elder Housing Board.  Our first hurdle will be the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure which has to permit various things including access, our second will be rezoning and transfer of densities.  We are hoping for support from Denman Islanders for our money raising activities which will be continuing for a long while.  Just now we are raffling a beautiful quilt made Jean Cockburn, which will be on display at the Saturday market.  When we actually start building we will be looking for help with labour and materials.  Any suggestions, ideas, offers of help or volunteer time will be greatly appreciated via info@denmanaffordablehousing.org.  New members are more than welcome.  Susan-Marie Yoshihara is coordinating the sale of raffle tickets at the Saturday market or wherever the quilt is displayed.


submitted by Jane Guest





Flagstone


April 2015





submitted by Harlene Holm





Flagstone


March 2015



Update on Project to Create Affordable Housing

for Seniors on Denman



Denman Island faces a pressing need for affordable and appropriate housing for its senior population.  A local association is planning a housing project in response to that need.


The Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) was formed in 2008 to create secure, affordable housing for low-income earners on Denman Island. A pilot project saw a single-family home created last year on donated land on Chickadee Road.


The project provided valuable experience for the association’s second project, which will be designed and dedicated for the use of seniors.


According to surveys that have been conducted over the past decade, most of Denman’s seniors say they want to continue to live on the island but they face numerous barriers to doing so. There are no dedicated seniors’ or subsidized housing units; there are few rental accommodations and those that exist are inappropriate for people with mobility or health issues. There are limited options for downsizing to a more manageable home and yard or for “aging in place” as older people’s needs change.


The goal of the DCLTA seniors housing project is to build duplex units based on the architectural plans developed for the Hornby Island Elder Housing project.


The units will be located within the Denman village area on land adjacent and behind the Denman Road commercial area. Bev Severn is selling the land to the DCLTA for a very reasonable price. (This site remained unscathed by December’s record rainfall, despite flooding of the adjacent property that used to house the Koffee Klatch).


“The project represents a major step towards making Denman Island an age-friendly community as defined by the World Health Organization,” said Harlene Holm, DCLTA board member.  “An age-friendly community offers affordable, appropriately located, well-built, well designed and secure housing.”


Denman Island Seniors Population – some facts


The DCLTA received a $1,000 grant-in-aid last summer from the Comox Valley Regional District to compile and update research on Denman’s senior population and its need for affordable housing. This information will be used in funding proposals to secure funds to build the units.


Some interesting facts from the research:


Denman’s senior population far exceeds that of B.C. and Canada as a percentage of total population. In 2006, Denman’s 220 seniors (those 65 and older) comprised 20.1% of the island’s total numbers. By comparison, the share of seniors in B.C.’s population was 14.6% and in Canada’s, 13.7%.

The Age Friendly Communities Report estimates that by 2016, the number of seniors on Denman Island age 65 and older will be 413 (compared to 285 in 2011), by 2021 it is estimated that it will be 519 and by 2026 it is estimated to be 647.

Residents age 50 and older now make up 66% of the Denman Island population.

 

Affordable Housing for Denman Island Seniors


Most rural and island communities do not have multi-unit dwelling options. Smaller dwellings and detached dwellings that appeal to seniors are not being built. With the escalation of housing prices over the past decades (despite recent, minor declines), fewer units, houses and land remain affordable to seniors. The renovation and modification of existing units can also be expensive.


This situation leads to a growing number of aging, long-term island residents relying on rental accommodation or living on land that they cannot maintain.


The situation is made worse by the generally low annual incomes of senior households. For example, a 2010 survey of seniors on Denman and Hornby islands found that nearly half of Denman seniors’ households (46%) reported incomes below $40,000. Twelve per cent of the Denman survey respondents reported annual income of less than $20,000.


Rental and elder households (homes with one or more resident age 55 and up) were surveyed in 2008 for the report: Housing Needs on Denman and Hornby Island. It found that 42 elder households on Denman Island were unacceptable according to nationally established standards. Residents of these households tolerate housing that is substandard, insecure, unaffordable or overcrowded in order to stay in the community they consider home.


Need for Appropriate Housing for Seniors


In surveys and focus groups with Denman and Hornby Island seniors, the authors of the Age Friendly Communities Report found that participants identified three main difficulties for continuing to live in their communities: 1) getting around in the community; 2) obtaining adequate care and support for them or their spouse; and 3) finding suitable housing should they choose or need to move.


Of the homeowners surveyed by the Denman Housing Association in 2013, a significant number of seniors indicated difficulty in maintaining their current home or garden; 75% expressed a preference for low-maintenance housing, while 50% said they would like a location near the Denman Island village and a smaller size home.


Anecdotal accounts say seniors living on their own often feel they have to move off the island to get the living accommodations they need as a result of age-related changes.  This observation is supported by surveys in which seniors indicated they anticipate moving off the island despite having lived here for an average of 17 years and wanting to stay.


Benefits of Affordable Housing for Seniors


Research conducted since 2008 demonstrates conclusively that more is needed in numbers of housing units and in alternative types of housing for seniors on Denman Island. Without these options, a growing number of seniors will be forced to move off the island.


If these populations are lost, the community will lose a valued portion of its society; including community and family ties that fuel many volunteer programs and community advocacy groups. There would also be an important loss to the tax base and other assets derived from the diversity, experiences and stability of older adults.

The seniors’ affordable housing project proposed by the Denman Community Land Trust Association represents an important step in making Denman Island an age-friendly community. 


“This project will enhance the quality of life for seniors and support the community as a whole, who will benefit from the ongoing social contributions of our friends and elders, and their continued economic and housing stability,” said DCLTA board member Anne de Cosson.


For more information about this project, contact info@denmanaffordablehousing.org or check DCLTA’s website denmanaffordablehousing.org.


submitted by Stephanie Slater






DCLTA’s News File 2014












All rural houses depicted on this site are located on Denman Island

Photos:   John Millen

Website:   Guy Marion

Last updated:   December 3, 2016

 

Denman Community Land Trust Association

registered non-profit society August 2008

registered charity June 2009

BN 84223 0898 RR0001



DCLTA’s News File 2015