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

Who we are:


Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) is a local, grassroots volunteer circle of Denman Island residents. We came together out of a common desire to do something tangible to address the need for affordable housing on Denman Island. We were inspired by the successes of the Community Land Trusts of our Salish Sea neighbours to the south in the San Juan Islands, and modelled our Association on those pioneered by the Vernon & District Community Land Trust and the Calgary Community Land Trust in Canada.



The need:


Denman Island is located in Georgia Strait, British Columbia. It has a finite ecosystem which presently supports a rural community with a population of approximately 800 households. The recent influx of relatively affluent new residents has dramatically increased the cost of living on Denman Island. Speculation has resulted in skyrocketing property values and the subsequent dispossession of long-term residents with limited means. The result is a loss of our neighbours, our school children, our helpers and our diversity as a vibrant community. Real solutions - which offer secure, affordable housing - depend on tenure; hence, the decision to create a land trust.


For more information click on:


Housing Affordability: A Denman Island History



Why a land trust:


Community Land Trusts obtain and hold land on behalf of their communities for the creation of affordable housing in perpetuity.



What the land trust will do:


DCLTA's mandate is to provide affordable housing for residents of Denman Island identified as living below the Revenue Canada Low Income Cut-Off, who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and in need of secure housing. Our commitment is to maintain rental rates at no greater than 30% of tenant's income and to focus on the island's working poor, whose numbers have increased as land and housing costs have escalated. The DCLTA delivery plan is rural based with a preference for single-family houses with access to garden space, firewood and the opportunity to develop a home industry.


DCLTA is open to community partnerships with other non-profit and charitable organizations such as those supporting co-op housing and seniors housing as per 2.b. of the DCLTA constitution:


  1. “To make developed and undeveloped lands, acquired by donation, purchase or otherwise, available to other nonprofit and/or charitable organizations for development as affordable housing ...”


and as outlined in the DCLTA brochure:


  1. “work closely with a wide range of individuals, groups and agencies interested in increasing affordable housing on Denman Island.”



Where we are in the process:


(note:  ~ CMHC = Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

  1. ~ CVHTF = Comox Valley Housing Task Force

  2. ~ CVRD = Comox Valley Regional District

  3. ~ MOTI = Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

  4. ~ REFBC = Real Estate Foundation of BC

  5. ~ VIHA = Vancouver Island Health Authority)


Highlights of DCLTA’s work to date:


August 2008 — DCLTA incorporated as a Non-Profit Society.

June 2009 — DCLTA qualified as a Registered Charity.

July 2010 — Letter of Intent signed by a Denman Island landowner to

    donate a portion of her land for the creation of one affordable

    dwelling ~ DCLTA’s Ridge Project.

October 2010 — Property Inventory Project completed ~ CVRD 2010

    Grant-in-Aid.

February 2011 — Biologist’s Report completed for the Ridge Project ~

    CMHC 2010 Seed Funding.

March 2011 — Siting and Use/Development Permit Application Package

    submitted for the Ridge Project.

April 2011 — Wastewater Site Evaluation completed for the Ridge Project ~

    CMHC 2010 Seed Funding.

June 2011 — Access road constructed for the Ridge Project ~ CMHC 2010

    Seed Funding.

July 2011 — Well drilled for the Ridge Project ~ CMHC 2010 Seed Funding.

July 2011 — DCLTA sponsored Public Meeting held for the Ridge Project.

August 2011 — Bylaw Amendment Application (rezoning) submitted for the

    Ridge Project ~ Islands Trust Sponsorship.

October 2011 — Local government sponsored Community Information

    Meeting held for the Ridge Project.

January 2012 — Accounting Software Project completed ~ CVRD 2011

    Grant-in-Aid.

February 2013 — Housing Agreement completed between DCLTA and the

    local government for the Ridge Project ~ REFBC 2010 Grant (DCLTA

    funded the Islands Trust legal review).

March 2013 — Greywater Research Project I completed ~ CVRD 2012

    Grant-in-Aid.

June 2013 — Local government sponsored Community Information

    Meeting and Public Hearing held for the Ridge Project.

June 2013 — DCLTA’s Rural Affordable Housing Project completed ~

    CVHTF 2012 Building Capacity Grant.

August 2013 — Bylaws 204, 205 and 206, which effect the rezoning needed

    for the Ridge Project, adopted by the local government.

October 2013 — Lease Agreement signed between DCLTA and the Ridge

    Project donor ~ REFBC 2010 Grant.

November 2013 — Memorandum of Understanding signed with a Denman

    landowner for the creation of eight units of seniors’ affordable housing.

January 2014 — Ridge Project: ten documents submitted for filing with the

    BC Land Registry to secure ownership of land ~ REFBC 2010 Grant.

January 2014 — DCLTA on Title for Ridge Project.

February 2014 — DCLTA sponsored Open House Tea to present Seniors’

    Affordable Housing proposal to neighbourhood and community for

    feedback.

February 2014 — Greywater Research Project II completed ~ CVRD 2013

    Grant-in-Aid.

March 2014 — DCLTA presents Seniors’ Affordable Housing proposal to

    local government planner for advice.

May 2014 — Lease agreement between DCLTA and the Ridge Project

    tenant drafted ~ REFBC 2010 Grant.

May 2014 — DCLTA signs Lease agreement with its first tenant.

June 2014 — Building of DCLTA’s first affordable house begins.

August 2014 — DCLTA presents Seniors’ Affordable Housing proposal to

    MOTI for advice.

September 2014 — Affordable Housing for Seniors on Denman Island

    Report completed summarizing existing needs documentation and statistics

    ~ CVRD 2014 Grant-in-Aid.

September 2014 — DCLTA presents Seniors’ Affordable Housing proposal

    to VIHA for advice.

December 2014 — DCLTA formal memo to MOTI re: access and layout

    concept for Seniors’ Affordable Housing proposal.

January 2015 — Updated Memorandum of Understanding signed with a

    Denman landowner for Seniors’ Affordable Housing proposal with added

    provision for strata title plus management of drainage ditch.

January 2015 — DCLTA presents Seniors’ Affordable Housing proposal to

    CVRD Area Director and Chair for advice.

April 2015 — Ridge Project completed and DCLTA's first low-income tenant

    moves in.

May 2015 — DCLTA delegation to the local government introducing

    Project 2, Seniors’ Affordable Housing, and answering questions.

June 2015 — DCLTA meets with MOTI to present a Seniors’ Affordable

    Housing project update and seek on-going advice.

September 2015 —“Release of charge" removes 99 year lease from Ridge

    Property title allowing the land to remain with DCLTA in perpetuity.

October 2015 — Solar Power Integration Project Report for its proposed

    Seniors’ Affordable Housing project completed ~ CVRD 2015 Grant-in-Aid.

November 2015 — DCLTA sponsors Solar Power and Passive House

    community evening presentation.

December 2015 — Submitted an ALC Exclusion Application for its Seniors’

    Affordable Housing project.

December 2o15 — Initiated a Wastewater Site Assessment for its Seniors’

    Affordable Housing project ~ CMHC 2015 Seed Funding grant.

December 2015 — Initiated development of a formal business plan for its

    Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~ CMHC 2015 Seed Funding grant.

January 2016 — DCLTA delegation to the local government re: ALC

    Exclusion Application for its Seniors’ Affordable Housing project.

January 2016 — Wastewater Site Assessment Report completed for its

    Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~ CMHC 2015 Seed Funding grant.

February 2016 — DCLTA meets with MOTI to present a Seniors’

    Affordable Housing project update and seek on-going advice.

February 2016 — DCLTA meets with VIHA to present a Seniors’ Affordable

    Housing project update and seek on-going advice.

June 2016 — DCLTA attends the Islands Trust Community Housing Forum.

July 2016 — Formal business plan completed for its Seniors’ Affordable

    Housing project ~ CMHC 2015 Seed Funding grant.

August 2016 — DCLTA submits a brief to the Federal Government’s Housing

    Strategy Consultation Process.

November 2016 — ALC approves DCLTA's Exclusion Application for its

    Seniors’ Affordable Housing project.

November 2016 — Right-of-way for Seniors' Affordable Housing project is

    secured.

December 2016 — DCLTA completes the Societies Act transition as required

    for all registered societies in BC.

January 2017 — Right-of-way for Seniors' Affordable Housing site is

    surveyed ~ CMHC 2015 Seed Funding grant.

February 2017 — DCLTA work bee to tidy the Seniors’ Affordable Housing

    site ~ CVRD 2016 Grant-In-Aid.

March 2017 — DCLTA meets with Islands Trust Planner/Regional Manager

    as first step in the necessary bylaw amendment for its Seniors’ Affordable

    Housing project.

April 2017 — DCLTA work bee to tidy the Seniors’ Affordable Housing site

    ~ CVRD 2016 Grant-In-Aid.

May 2017 — DCLTA delegation to the Local Trust Committee re its Seniors’

    Affordable Housing project.

July 2017 — Well drilled for the Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~ CVRD

    2017 Grant-in-Aid.



DCLTA is currently engaged in the following activities:


  1. 1)Working toward the purchase of the land, the requisite approvals, and the community engagement necessary for its Seniors’ Affordable Housing Project;

  2. 2)Continuing to seek donations, bequests and land acquisition opportunities. Affordable housing projects are shaped by the available land, location and demographic need. The focus is on low income earners, small scale, island sustainability and community integration;

  3. 3)Continuing to involve the Denman Island community, support affordable housing-mandated organizations (some as far away as the Maritimes) and add a voice to developing housing strategies (Islands Trust Housing Forum, Canada’s “Let’s Talk Housing”);

  4. 4)Continuing to research best practices for seniors' independent living, current energy-efficiency building practices, climate change adaptations and cost effectiveness;

  5. 5)Researching future affordable housing projects that address the needs of the community within the context of a rural and finite island environment;

  6. 6)Acquiring and administering grants that will facilitate affordable housing throughout this community and other rural areas in BC and

  7. 7)Continuing to seek funding grants to cover the design process and subsequent constructions costs for the Seniors’Affordable Housing Project.



Affordable Housing is supported in the Denman Island Official Community Plan


Land use planning on Denman Island is unusual in that, as a community within a fragile island ecosystem, we come under the auspices of the Islands Trust, a federation of local island governments with a mandate (Islands Trust Act) to make land use decisions that will "preserve and protect" the islands. To meet this mandate the Denman Island Official Community Plan has set a population cap for the island by way of limiting further subdivision; however, OCP Part E Use and Density Policy 8 reads "The overall residential density on Denman Island should generally not increase beyond that permitted by existing zoning on January 1, 2000 except that a modest increase may be permitted to accommodate zoning amendments for special needs and affordable housing." Also, via Bylaw 185 (May 2009), the Denman Island Local Trust Committee has established an innovative "Density Bank" that enables the transfer of residential densities (potential dwellings) to create affordable housing.


Thus, in addition to directly acquiring ownership of land, the DCLTA may acquire extinguished densities from land designated Conservation or unused densities from parcels with more than one permitted density for use on leased, donated or purchased land. Legal agreements will be absolutely pivotal to these processes.




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

Photos:   John Millen

Website:   Guy Marion

Last updated:   August 2, 2017

Denman Community Land Trust Association

registered non-profit society August 2008

registered charity June 2009

BN 84223 0898 RR0001

Contact Us:

Write to:
Denman Community Land Trust Association
c/o 3900 Lacon Road,
Denman Island, B.C.  V0R 1T0

E-mail us:

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges.”


-- Anatole France