Good Morning HCLT Supporters,
It’s been a busy and productive few months since our April 2nd launch at LIUNA station. Our apologies for the lack of regular communication, but rest-assured our hard-working volunteers have been busy behind-the-scenes helping to make the vision of a community land trust in Hamilton a reality. We’ve made it our goal to release a newsletter update on a quarterly basis, so read-on to learn more about what we’ve been doing the past few months, and look forward to another update in the Fall!
First off, as you well know, the concept of a community land trust was very well received by the more than 120 guests we hosted on our April 2nd launch night, and we have continued to receive support from individuals and various community groups in the past few months. We are pleased to announce that the HCLT has now received public support from the following community groups:
- Ainslie Wood / Westdale Community Association
- Durand Neighbourhood Association
- Jamesville Hub
- Central Neighbourhood Association
- OPIRG McMaster
- North End Neighbours
- Beasley Neighbourhood Association
Second, we would like to thank the volunteers, old and new, who have attended our three all-volunteer meetings on April 25th, May 30th and June 19th. These were very constructive meetings designed to create and advance the work of our five working groups: governance and bylaws, communications and community engagement, fundraising, affordable housing, and community gardens. See below for more details on what the working groups have been up to.
Affordable Housing & Community Gardens
The affordable housing and community garden groups have been actively working towards finding land and partners for a land trust pilot project in order to test the idea while raising funds and awareness. For now we are focusing on finding an immediate project where a transition to CLT ownership of the land can happen later. We don’t expect to be there anytime soon, but once we have the structure in place to own land, we think that a project can be implemented rapidly as land and funders are in place.
We have also applied for consideration by the province’s Social Impact Bonds process for an affordable housing project, so this may be a funding opportunity long-term.
Communications & Community Engagement
The communications and engagement group has been busy developing materials for our upcoming appearances at festivals, events and community meetings. Since April, we’ve presented to the Rotary Club of Stoney Creek, the Durand Neighbourhood Association, Jamesville Hub, and had a booth at the Beasley BBQ on June 23rd. Look for our smiling faces at Open Streets Hamilton (this upcoming Sunday, July 13), as well as Art Crawls and various neighbourhood events in and around downtown this summer.
If you are a member of an organisation, community group or association that is interested in learning more about the Hamilton Community Land Trust please contact email@example.com.
The fundraising group includes a number of experienced volunteers who have been applying for grants on an ongoing basis to cover the costs of ongoing engagement work, to support the development of the organisation, and to conduct a professional feasibility study.
We will be hosting a fundraising/grant writing group meeting in the near future to begin to implement our fundraising plan, and we are happy to announce that we are just finalizing our first grant to help fund a staff member to aid the organization’s start-up in the coming months.
The governance group met independently on May 9th and has been hard at work with the goals of drafting our basic bylaws over the summer and incorporating in the fall. As part of this process we are working to formalize the purpose and structure of the organisation, which will later be examined by a feasibility study. We are also seeking out advice and templates from existing Canadian CLTs and relevant non-profit, legal and CRA experts.
The governance group is hosting a facilitated visioning meeting on July 10th for existing volunteers that will serve as an important step towards structuring the organisation and drafting our basic bylaws.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the activities that the HCLT has been busy with since the April 2nd public launch. We want to make sure that all of our supporters, volunteers and interested individuals are kept in-the-loop and are aware of the great work of the HCLT volunteers. Since our initial gatherings back in January of this year, work has been happening at an astounding pace, thanks to the continued enthusiasm and support of the Hamilton community.
If you have any questions or are itching to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org . As always, please feel free to check out our website at hamiltonclt.org for more information on our organization, and feel free to “follow” us on Twitter or “like” us on Facebook for more timely updates on the activities of the HCLT.
Thanks and take care!
The Hamilton Community Land Trust Team