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:
“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:

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

DCLTA is currently engaged in the following activities:

1) Working to meet further bylaw amendment requirements, fundraise to purchase the land, achieve the requisite approvals, and invite the community engagement necessary for the Seniors’ Affordable Housing Project.

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

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

4) Continuing to seek donations, bequests and land acquisition opportunities.

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

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

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

7) Continuing to 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”).

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.

For CMHC’s profile of DCLTA ~ click here

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

Highlights of DCLTA’s work to date:

note:
~ ALC = Agricultural Land Commission
~ ALR = Agricultural Land Reserve
~ CMHC = Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation
~ CVHTF = Comox Valley Housing Task Force
~ CVRD = Comox Valley Regional District
~ FLNRORD = Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development
~ LTC = Local Trust Committee
~ MOTI = Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
~ REFBC = Real Estate Foundation of BC
~ VIHA = Vancouver Island Health Authority

2008

August
— DCLTA incorporates as a Non-Profit Society.

2009

June
— DCLTA qualifies as a Registered Charity.

2010

July
— Denman Island landowner signs a Letter of Intent to donate a portion of her land for the creation of one affordable dwelling ~ DCLTA’s Ridge Project.
October
— DCLTA completes Property Inventory Project ~ CVRD 2010 Grant-in-Aid.

2011

August
— DCLTA submits Bylaw Amendment Application (rezoning) for the Ridge Project ~ Islands Trust Sponsorship.

2012

January
— DCLTA completes Accounting Software Project ~ CVRD 2011 Grant-in-Aid.

2013

February
— DCLTA and the LTC complete the Housing Agreement for the Ridge Project ~ REFBC Grant funds the Islands Trust’s required legal review.
March
— DCLTA completes Greywater Research Project I ~ CVRD 2012 Grant-in-Aid.
June
— DCLTA completes Rural Affordable Housing Project
— CVHTF 2012 Building Capacity Grant.
August
— LTC adopts Bylaws 204, 205 and 206, the rezoning needed for the Ridge Project.
October
— DCLTA and the Ridge Project donor sign the legally drafted Lease Agreement ~ supported by REFBC Grant.
November
— Denman landowner signs a Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of eight units of seniors’ affordable housing.

2014

January
— DCLTA becomes registered owner of Ridge property.
February
— DCLTA completes Greywater Research Project II ~ CVRD 2013 Grant-in-Aid.
May
— DCLTA signs Lease agreement with its first Ridge Property tenant.
June
— Building of DCLTA’s first affordable house begins.
September
— DCLTA completes Affordable Housing Needs Assessment for Denman Island Seniors ~ CVRD 2014 Grant-in-Aid.

2015

April
— Ridge Project is completed and DCLTA’s first low-income tenant moves in.
September
— “Release of charge” removes 99 year lease from Ridge Property title allowing the land to remain with DCLTA in perpetuity.
October
— DCLTA completes Solar Power Integration Project Report for its proposed Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~ CVRD 2015 Grant-in-Aid.
November
— DCLTA sponsors Solar Power and Passive House construction community presentation.

2016

January
— DCLTA completes Wastewater Site Assessment Report for Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~ CMHC 2015 Seed Funding grant.
June
— DCLTA attends the Islands Trust Community Housing Forum.
July
— DCLTA completes business plan for Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~ CMHC 2015 Seed Funding grant.
August
— DCLTA submits a brief to the Federal Government’s Housing Strategy Consultation Process.
November
— ALC approves DCLTA’s Exclusion Application for Seniors’ Affordable Housing project.
December
— DCLTA completes the Societies Act transition as required for all registered societies in BC.

2017

July
— Well is drilled for the Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~ CVRD 2017 Grant-in-Aid.
August
— DCLTA completes Wastewater Treatment System Design for Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~ CMHC 2015 Seed Funding grant.
September
— DCLTA submits Bylaw Amendment Application for Seniors’ Affordable Housing project.
— DCLTA delegation to Trust Council asks the Council to amend Trust Policy Statement to include reference to affordable housing and to create a model affordable housing first policy for use by LTCs.

2018

March
— DCLTA launches its Pledges for Land Purchase appeal.
June
— LTC approves DCLTA’s Development Variance Permit Application (DVP) to waive subdivision water requirements for the Seniors’ Affordable Housing project’s lane lot line adjustment.
October
— Seniors’ Affordable Housing site well pumping test.
November
— ALC approves DCLTA’s request that the ALR exclusion only include the land proposed for the Seniors’ Affordable Housing project.

2019

January
— MOTI grants preliminary approval of the lane lot line adjustment.
— Trust staff confirms that the lane lot line adjustment “conforms to all Denman Island Local Trust Committee bylaws, and that Islands Trust has no outstanding conditions for final approval.”
February
— FLNRORD issues the water licence for the project.
March
— DCLTA meets with CMHC’s Marcia Jean-Baptiste, Specialist, Affordable Housing to discuss funding Seniors’ Project including wastewater system using Co-Investment Fund.
May
— ALC approves DCLTA’s Vegetative Buffer and Fencing Plan.
June
— Trust staff presents a Preliminary Draft Bylaw “for information only” to the June 6, 2019 LTC meeting.
July
— DCLTA explores grants via the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipalities Fund.
August
— DCLTA submission to the September 17-18, 2019 Trust Council urges Trust Council to consider DCLTA’s September 2017 submission requesting that the Trust Council create a Trust-wide affordable housing first policy and address affordable housing needs in the Trust Policy Statement.
September
— DCLTA completes Rainwater Catchment Backup project ~ CVRD 2019 Grant-In-Aid.
November
— DCLTA resolves lane access issue with the ALC to the benefit of both the ALR and the Seniors’ proposal.
December
— Thanks to community support, DCLTA has now raised 92% of the land purchase cost.

2020

January
— At its January 21, 2020 meeting the LTC passes motions to recognize the FLNRORD Water Licence as proof of adequate potable water and to allow the existing residential zoning setbacks of 3 metres (10 feet), building height maximum of 9 metres and lot coverage maximum of 25% for the Seniors’ Affordable Housing proposal.