Dec 16, 2022
The two non-profit housing organizations on Denman Island have agreed to work together to most effectively meet the community’s affordable housing needs. The Denman Housing Association (DHA) and the Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) have signed a memorandum of understanding pledging to work cooperatively.
“The outcome may eventually be a single organization or it may be two groups – one focussed on acquiring land and one focussed on building and operating affordable housing,” said Simon Palmer, chair of the DHA board. “Regardless, the effect will be greater clarity for the community and for funders and also a maximizing of the skills and efforts of everyone involved.”
An early result of the cooperation pledge is an agreement to reserve a minimum of five units in the upcoming Denman Green project for seniors housing. The move follows the recent loss of the property the DCLTA had intended to buy for the eight-unit Pepper Lane seniors affordable housing project.
“We are grateful that DHA has come forward with this generous offer because it ensures that at least part of our original goal with Pepper Lane will be met more quickly than if we started from scratch,” said Stephanie Slater, co-chair of the DCLTA board. “Re-zoning and other development requirements take a long time, so Denman Green is now our community’s earliest hope for affordable housing.”
While the DCLTA and DHA explore organizational options, the DHA will focus on completing Denman Green, a 20-unit affordable housing project planned for families and individuals on Northwest Road, near the Denman Island village centre. At least one DCLTA board member will join the DHA board in the interim and others will offer their expertise to the project on an as-needed basis.
Meanwhile, the DCLTA will continue to seek land for other affordable housing projects.
“All the funds originally donated to buy the land for the Pepper Lane project will be kept aside for land acquisition,” said Doug Olstead, DCLTA co-chair. “In this way, we will honour the intentions of the donors as closely as possible.”
Both organizations continue to welcome tax-deductible donations (see the respective websites for information about donating). Anyone with ideas for land that could be purchased, donated, or bequeathed for housing is asked to contact the DCLTA at firstname.lastname@example.org. Property could be in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and/or could require subdividing.
Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA)
Denman Housing Association (DHA)