On Tuesday, July 25, 2023, Kamloops City Council took a big step towards addressing Kamloops’ long-term housing needs by establishing the Kamloops Community Land Trust Foundation.
The purpose of the Kamloops Community Land Trust Foundation is to advance the creation of more attainable housing by preserving, acquiring, and providing land as well as actively developing new partnerships to support housing development.
“Land trusts take the land price out of the cost of development, reducing the end price of the home,” said Marvin Kwiatkowski, the City’s Development, Engineering, and Sustainability Director. “This model allows the land trust to prioritize the community’s long-term housing needs and work with community partners to fill the gaps.”
A land trust is a unique and innovative solution that will allow the city to make housing more accessible and attainable in Kamloops—now and for future generations. The Kamloops Community Land Trust Foundation will be a community-owned and controlled organization, ensuring that attainable housing remains a priority for Kamloops residents and that the organization remains accountable to the community.
The Community Land Trust Foundation will focus on providing and preserving housing options that are not currently pursued by existing organizations in the community, in particular, for those with low to moderate incomes, including seniors. Housing types to support these households are often duplexes, townhouses, fourplexes, or multiplexes. The Community Land Trust Foundation would not be affiliated with any social agencies, nor will it provide supportive housing.
The 2023–2026 Council Strategic Plan identifies housing as a key area of focus to support safety and security in Kamloops, committing to proactively creating opportunities to increase the inventory of diverse housing supply so residents can access and move throughout the housing continuum.
In 2019, the City received grant funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC to develop the “Road Map,” a research document and comprehensive guide that outlines the full process for launching a community land trust. To help initiate the launch of the Kamloops Community Land Trust Foundation, the City of Kamloops, in partnership with Urban Matters CCC Ltd., received funding through the Demonstrations Initiative, administered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation under the National Housing Strategy.
Following its incorporation, the land trust will seek qualified professionals to serve as board members and establish a sustainable operating model, including strategies and policies for acquiring and developing land. The City will also engage with the community to provide more information about the Community Land Trust Foundation and gather input that will be considered in the strategic planning phase.
“This land trust is a key tool we can use to help make homes more attainable for residents,” said Kwiatkowski. "We're excited to create this opportunity and look forward to bringing it out to the community."