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Chelsea will see 20 acres of land in Farm Point transformed into a so-called “Medieval Village” as a way of tackling the region’s affordable housing problem.
Chelsea landowner Kitty Green is developing her land on Carman Road adjacent to the Gatineau River into 32 “mini-plots” to accommodate the development of what is being called the Bordar’s Borough Medieval Village. She says it’s a win for everyone to provide off-the-grid homes at an unbeatable price.
“I was tired of hearing the government talk and talk and talk about affordable housing, so I decided to design my own community,” said Green, who would technically be the “baroness” or general steward of the village. “My granddaughter has been struggling to find a place to live for months while she goes to school. She still hasn’t found a spot. She’s living in my basement.”
Green worked with Farm Point Coun. Rita Jain, who helped her acquire necessary permits, environmental studies and funding for the village. Chelsea will waive all land transfer fees and other development permit costs as its contribution, she said.
“My constituents have been up in arms over development, dock taxes and new guardrails, so we were thrilled to be able to say ‘yes’ to something in Farm Point,” Jain told the Low Down. “Affordable housing is a real problem here and everywhere in Quebec. These villages will help ease that crunch.”
Chelsea is not the first to offer such a unique concept. In northern Ontario, Boreal Forest Medieval Villages is getting lots of good press (borealvillages.ca) and Green said she modelled her project after seeing Boreal Villages profiled by CTV News.
In Chelsea, Bordar’s Borough residents can purchase a one-eighth acre lot for just under $8,000 for the land alone. Green is working with an architect to design humble abodes of just under 500-square feet. The homes would technically be considered non-permanent to save on permit fees, making the Bordar’s Borough a year-round campground. But with walls of clay-covered plaited branches and a straw-thatched roof, the homes will stand up to most year-round weather and, more importantly, can be built for just $6,500.
“You could own your own house for less than $15,000,” she said, adding that property taxes would only be about $23 per year. She’s also added a $50 monthly “Chancellor’s Fee” to help cover the costs of maintaining pathways and a communal well.
What Green is excited about most, though, is the type of community she envisions growing in the village. With no access to plumbing or power, residents will have to work together to make it through the challenges of winter. She says she envisions communal activities such as harvest time like it was back in the Middle Ages and hopes the village will unite people after such a recently divisive time.
“Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all got together and shared our resources to make sure nobody is left behind?” she said. “This is what Bordar’s Borough will become.”
The village will boast public fire pits, outdoor stone ovens, stables for horses, a communal well and the Bordar’s Borough Inn for one guest to stay at a time. The Inn will feature a small bar and a Live Action Role Playing (LARP) arena for the village’s Battle Royale every Saturday night.
“Nobody actually likes pickleball,” said Green, holding up her iron sword. “LARPing is where the action is. Every village needs a bar and something to do on the weekends.”
Green is working to finalize the design of the homes before she goes public with sales. For more information, visit medievalmendacity.ca.