We’re a little late in getting a quarterly update to you, but we wanted to wait until we could share with you our exciting news:
We have applied to Incorporate!
That’s right! We are pleased to announce that we have submitted our application for incorporation as a nonprofit to the Province of Ontario. Thanks to the generous financial support of the Hamilton Community Foundation and the support of our partner the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton, we have been able to prepare our application for incorporation and build a founding Board of Directors. With these milestones out of the way, we will continue to apply for funding and get down to the work that will bring us even closer to community ownership of land.
Partnership for Community Ownership of Land
Some other exciting news to share with you. We have been working with A Rocha Canada’s Hamilton Chapter, Hamilton Victory Gardens, the Evergreen Foundation, and other partners to develop a proposal for community ownership, development and programming of an underused property.
Many properties that are vacant or underused are in tax arrears and may at some point in time be labelled a surplus property by the City of Hamilton. These properties are very problematic to their neighbourhoods and to the City. Vacant properties are frequently contaminated, and are often considered too difficult by traditional developers.
Rather than continue to dispose of surplus City properties at low rates to real estate speculators, we believe that community ownership is a much better solution. Although we recognize that it will be hard work, we are currently building resources in an effort to acquire one of these properties, remediate it, engage the community on how it should be used, and redevelop it. Community support for this idea is strong and we are confident we can secure the resources to make this happen.
Since our last update, HCLT has received the public support of a number of additional community groups, and we hope to secure further public endorsements in the coming months. We’d also like to offer our thanks to the Durand & Corktown Neighbourhood Associations, the Ainslie Woods/Westdale Community Association, and the Jamesville HUB for learning more about CLTs and agreeing with us that Hamilton will benefit from a strong and citizen-led community land trust.
We continue to give community presentations to explain the work of the Hamilton Community Land Trust and answer questions. If your community group or agency is interested in learning more about our organization, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to developing the resources to acquire a surplus City property, we are currently seeking funding to continue our work to build the HCLT model and grow awareness and support for our organization. We have applied to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for twelve months of support and continue to seek foundation grants, individual donations, corporate sponsorships, and other funding sources. This funding is vital for us to continue.
How to Get Involved
Meet’n’Greet: On Tuesday January 13th we will be holding a casual meet and greet at the cozy and comfortable Homegrown Hamilton (27 King William St.) from 6-8pm. Please drop in and catch up with volunteers and other supporters, and learn more about our CLT. We will send another invitation in January, but mark it on your calendars now!
Volunteer: We are also planning a more focused all-volunteer event in early 2015, so also look out for an invitation to that. This will be an opportunity to hear about our 2015 goals and learn more about specific ways you can help. In the meantime, if you’re interested in volunteering to help with event planning, fundraising, or research, or have professional services you can lend to the organization, please contact email@example.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Have a very happy holiday season, and best wishes in 2015. Thanks and take care!
The Hamilton Community Land Trust Team