Photo credit: ARAS Imaging
Good news, everyone! Yesterday the HCLT took possession of the property at 278 Wilson! See below for the complete press release. As always, thank you for your continued support!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Hamilton Community Land Trust (HCLT) is excited to announce that on July 20th, 2017 it officially became owners of 278 Wilson Street East, in Hamilton’s Landsdale Neighbourhood. The site was acquired by the HCLT from the City of Hamilton and will be home to an affordable housing unit in the form of a single-family home, developed in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Hamilton and other community partners.
This comes after several years of effort by the HCLT and its partners. Michael Borrelli, Chair of the Hamilton Community Land Trust, states “We’ve come a long way from our origins as a research project into the feasibility of a CLT in downtown Hamilton. As of today, we’re one big step towards our goal to work with partners like Habitat to create affordable housing and community space in areas where these uses are being priced out. We are so grateful for the broad support from the community–without their help this wouldn’t have been possible.”
The Hamilton Land Trust is joined by other community land trusts in the Parkdale and Kensington Market neighbourhoods of Toronto. All three organizations are part of a growing movement to give locals organizations greater influence over how their communities develop, and to respond to the impacts of escalating real estate values.
Sean Ferris, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Hamilton, is eager to begin work at the property. “We’re very excited to be partnering with the Hamilton Community Land Trust on this affordable housing initiative. Combining synergies will not only enable us to build more efficiently, but it will also provide us with the opportunity to scale our programming to the next level. We look forward to breaking ground together with the Hamilton Community Land Trust, building strength, stability and self-reliance through homeownership.”
Matthew Green, Hamilton Councillor for Ward 3, echoes his excitement. “While house prices continue to rise out of reach for many, the community land trust model provides hope, by ensuring that the housing stays affordable. I’d like to thank the Hamilton Community Land Trust, Habitat for Humanity, and the other stakeholders who worked to champion our first land trust project. This is the first step in what I hope to be a long line of many exciting projects that will preserve true affordable housing for residents in our community.”
The property is located at 278 Wilson Street East in the Landsdale Neighbourhood, where it has sat vacant for over more than 15 years after the existing home was destroyed by fire. It was later acquired by the City, and was declared surplus in 2008. According to a Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton profile of the neighbourhood in 2012, “There are more renters (62%) than homeowners (38%) in Landsdale. Almost six in ten renters in Landsdale (57%) live in unaffordable housing and spend 30% or more on shelter costs”. Redevelopment of this property into quality affordable housing will contribute to sustainable revitalization of the neighbourhood.
About Hamilton Community Land Trust
Founded in 2014, Hamilton Community Land Trust is a volunteer-based, community-driven initiative that is working to preserve the vitality and long-term affordability of Hamilton’s diverse central neighbourhoods, through use of the community land trust (CLT) model. For more information, please visit www.hamiltonclt.org.
About Habitat for Humanity Hamilton
Founded in 1991, Habitat for Humanity Hamilton is an independent, not-for-profit housing program that works to break the cycle of poverty by building affordable housing and promoting homeownership. Habitat Hamilton has accommodated 22 partner families locally since its incorporation and is one of Habitat Canada’s fastest growing affiliates, with several builds and developments currently underway. Habitat Hamilton’s mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in order to break the cycle of poverty throughout Hamilton and the surrounding region. For more information, please visit www.habitathamilton.ca.
For more information, please contact:Michael Borrelli, Chair, Hamilton Community Land Trust