A drawing of the proposed modular homes for Denman Green. Photo supplied

DHA takes next steps toward Denman Green housing

Group hopes to apply for capital funding in spring 2020

Housing advocates on Denman Island are moving ahead with the next phase to develop new housing with an ecological edge in the community.

The Denman Housing Association has $95,000 in funding from BC Housing for this preparatory phase, with an eye toward being ready to apply to the provincial agency for capital funding in the late spring of 2020.

“We are extremely grateful to BC Housing for their support,” says DHA president Simon Palmer.

The project, once completed, is estimated to cost about $6.3 million.

For its part, BC Housing is exploring ways to support affordable housing that is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

“We know that communities across the province have been facing a shortage of affordable housing. Island communities also face a unique combination of challenges related to limited land and natural resources,” BC Housing senior communications advisor Andrea Coutts said.

BC Housing is also working to help build new homes on Cortes Island (four homes), Hornby Island (26 homes) and Salt Spring Island (80 homes). On Denman, the DHA site plan is designed to have 20 units that can house 49 people in four-plexes and duplexes on a 20-acre site.

“It’s called ‘Denman Green,’” says Palmer.

The site in question has to go through rezoning with Islands Trust, which could take another six to eight months, Palmer estimates. There is an agreement of intent for the DHA to acquire the land, located on Denman Road about a 10-minute walk from the core of Denman Island.

Housing has long been an issue on Denman, a community of about 1,000 people, as DHA studies have found there is a shortage of quality housing on the Island. While some residents choose to live off the grid, many simply cannot find quality housing and are forced to live in accommodations that often have no proper heating or toilet. Many squat in trailers or shacks.

A DHA survey in 2013 found that as many as 90 per cent of rental units were considered in some way to be inadequate, leaving many residents, existing on too little income, with no choice of where to live.

“We did a study in 2013 that showed 120 people, including 20 children, were in need of affordable housing,” Palmer says. “The Island total is only a thousand.”

RELATED STORY: Housing crisis amplified on Denman Island

The DHA plan is aimed at providing “green” housing but at an affordable level, with a stipulation that tenants at the site will pay no more than 30 per cent of their gross income for rent.

“You’ve got people on Denman paying 50, 60 per cent of their gross income,” Palmer says.

As part of the project, the DHA has also entered into a memorandum of understanding with Engineers for a Sustainable World: UBC Chapter, to develop ecologically designed infrastructure for the site – for example, rainwater harvesting technology. The team is made up of 16 people in engineering programs, with backgrounds in electrical, chemical and biological engineering.

READ MORE: Denman Island governing body takes legal action against short-term vacation rental

This is one example of the preparatory work covered by the $95,000, which will also help with fees, surveys and studies.

The site will be powered with a 123-kW solar system designed to rely on net-zero energy consumption through a metering agreement with BC Hydro, meaning power can be sold back to the utility. Other components of the housing project include low-water toilets and grey water reuse.

“It’s going to be extremely energy-efficient,” says Palmer.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


The Engineers for a Sustainable World: UBC Chapter with the DHA’s Simon Palmer (right). The team is working on some of the ecologically friendly aspects of the project. Photo supplied

Just Posted

Comox Valley wheelchair sports all about inclusion

By Jamie Bowman Special to The Record When occupational therapist Carolyn Harmatiuk… Continue reading

Comox Valley Community Foundation hands out record amount of grant money

The Comox Community Centre the foundation handed out $330,000 to local organizations Tuesday.

Comox Valley school district planning Climate Action Conference for students

The voices of Comox Valley youth on the topic of climate change… Continue reading

Funder for Down Under in Courtenay raises thousands for Australia

Organizers still tallying up proceeds but expect to donate at least $8,000

Fourteen Comox Valley kids get bikes through Share the Ride

Several businesses combine efforts to get bikes and other cycling gear

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Thieves are targetting Comox Valley strata storage units

Criminals in the Comox Valley have been targeting storage units at condominium… Continue reading

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Advocates call hospital parking fees a ‘shakedown’ after learning most Island tickets are waived

Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals among the most ticketed on the Island

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Most Read