If you are under 35, a town in northeastern New Brunswick has land for sale.
In order to help young people build their first house, live in Caraquet and contribute to the local workforce, the municipality is offering two lots in a park of mini-houses on 4th rue du Parc.
The only condition is that buyers be under the age of 35 and build a home there before next July, said Mayor Bernard Thériault.
“The reason we are doing this is that we have a challenge where this summer we are going to see 40 new homes [units] built in Caraquet, but most are… for retirees or the elderly.
“So we thought that to flip the balance on the other side of the equation, we would take these two plots of land that we own and try to give them to young couples or young individuals to own. a house in Caraquet.”
Thériault said that just under a year ago, when he became mayor, he realized housing was one of the biggest issues facing community members.
This inspired an earlier initiative where the city offered land for free to any developer who promised to build homes there.
Thériault said a developer has since taken possession of the land and will build 28 townhouses on it by the end of this year.
As for the latest initiative, Thériault said, the two packages – worth around $30,000 each – will not be given away for free.
Instead, the city will solicit proposals from applicants interested in purchasing one.
“Now we need to find criteria where money itself is not the only factor,” he said.
“Maybe a couple with two children can have an advantage over a single person. I’m just throwing ideas there, but we’ll have a working group that will determine the criteria.
“Our main objective is to help families, who are currently struggling to find a way to access property.”
Thériault said the city will begin posting its request for proposals next week and will accept applications until the end of June.
When asked why the city didn’t just sell the land as it normally would, Thériault said he didn’t want it falling into the hands of ‘speculators’ looking to make a quick profit. .
“We have seen land that was sold by the City of Caraquet that is there and cannot be obtained because the price is too high,” he said.
“So in this case, that’s what we’re doing. We’re going to eliminate the [intermediary] and eliminate the profit margin.”
Deadlines are important, says McAdam mayor
Similar initiatives to spur the creation of new housing have been launched by municipalities in recent years, including the Village of McAdam, which announced in 2018 that it was selling 16 vacant lots for $1 each in a bid to attract new residents.
In an interview Wednesday, McAdam Mayor Ken Stannix said all the lots have been sold, but no homes have yet been built on them due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’m definitely okay with setting deadlines for people to do things-Ken Stannix, Mayor of McAdam
When asked what he thought of the Caraquet plan, Stannix said he wasn’t sure what he thought of the requirement that buyers be under 35.
However, he said he thinks it is important that there are conditions on how long a house can be built.
“I’m definitely okay with setting deadlines for people to do things,” Stannix said.
“I find that a lot of people will try to buy a property cheaply and then they’ll turn around and try to flip it over to you, so you have to be wary of who you’re selling it to.
“So there must be conditions on that property as to when you have to start building on that property, and if you don’t meet that requirement, there must be legal requirements for that property to revert to you as the seller. .”
Stannix said the deadline for buyers of McAdam’s dollar lots will come at the end of this year.