The first Northern land trust builds 32 permanently affordable homes
Thanks to the North’s first Community Land Trust development, 32 new permanently affordable homes are coming to Whitehorse, Yukon. The Northern Community Land Trust (NCLT) is the first community land trust in Canada’s North. Community land trusts are non-profits democratically controlled by community members that acquire & hold land. They help ensure perpetually affordable housing, which is much needed in the Yukon, where a significant segment of the population is priced out of the private market and unable to access social housing. The NCLT’s first project will be 32 homes designed to be purchased by working-class people and families at affordable, below-market prices. Residents will own their homes but there is an income cap on who can buy them. Their resale price is fixed, usually to the rate of inflation, so that the homes stay affordable forever. Other units will be affordable rentals leased out via a non-profit partnership. The land trust has received a land donation from the Yukon government and funding from CMHC’s Demonstrations Initiative. Funding from the Centre’s Sector Transformation Fund enabled the organization to hire a full-time staff member to complete feasibility work, apply for seed funding, finalize the business model, create partnership agreements, and engage the community. The land trust wants to build the capacity, expertise, and knowledge to be able to deliver support to communities, organizations, and First Nations governments to implement transformational approaches to affordable housing.