Taking action

action-webSo how do you go about forming these partnerships and making your inclusive housing vision a reality?

Below are some tips on how to get started and steps to take to develop inclusive housing.

 

  • People who want inclusive housing

    What to ask for

    There are some core elements of what makes housing inclusive:

    • choice and control
    • basic inclusion requirements
    • ratio of people with and without disabilities
    • diversity
    • sustainability

    Community Living BC has criteria around each of these areas that it considers before deciding to provide supports for an individual in a housing situation. These are not rigid criteria – rather they offer guidance based on the vision of good lives in welcoming communities. Every situation or proposal is unique and will be considered individually, based on whether it advances and reflects the values of community living. Click here for more information. Or contact your local CLBC office.

    While there are examples of inclusive housing already in place, don’t be limited by what has already been done.  Use your imagination to describe a vision of what will work best and then find partners who can help create the innovation to make it real.


    Who to ask

    Individuals, their families and service providers may already know a lot about what you are looking for. And there is information about what others are already doing. Ask your local service provider or your local CLBC office for help to get started.


    How to get your community to support it

    This is all about community development, planning and collaboration – things the community living movement is already experienced with. Now it is a matter of expanding beyond the community living sector and finding new partners around housing. Here are some ideas about getting started.

    Check out the step-by-step process used by the Langley Community Living Housing Coalition.

    Consider hiring a consultant to help with your planning and collaboration. The BC Non-Profit Housing Association may be able to identify an experienced consultant in your part of the province, and can be contacted at: admin@bcnpha.ca

  • People who help create inclusive housing

    Why you need to consider inclusive housing

    It works

    There is a strong business case for it, proven by examples of success in B.C. and beyond. Both with new builds and pre-existing and/or renovated buildings.

    People stay longer and have strong supports

    Those with diverse needs and abilities make good tenants. When there is a good fit, they love their homes and their neighbours and they stay put. They also typically have family support, a service provider that provides support, monitoring and troubleshooting, and a CLBC facilitator to assist with problem solving and/or advice.

    Demand for inclusive housing is growing

    The number of people served by CLBC is growing. More and more want inclusive housing options. Some are middle-aged and living with aging parents. Some are young and have grown up in inclusive schools – they expect to live more typical lives – including having a job and their own apartment or home.

    There is private money to do it

    Not all people with developmental disabilities live on low incomes. Some have sources of financing – through their parents or through trusts. They are interested in and able to buy a home.

    There is public money to do it

    Recently announced federal and provincial affordable housing funding includes people with developmental disabilities among the target groups.

    It strengthens community for everyone

    It offers ways for people of many walks of life to connect and interact. Everyone has something to offer. Diverse, connected communities are better places to live.

    It’s the right thing to do

    Many people with developmental disabilities have low incomes and need affordable housing options. They may also face discrimination in the rental market or live in housing that isn’t the right fit to meet their needs.

    It’s the law

    Canada has international commitments that affirm the right of people with disabilities to live independently and to be included in their community.


    Getting past the misconceptions

    People with developmental disabilities live with many negative stereotypes and assumptions about their ability to live in community like everyone else.  For example, many people assume they cannot hold down a job, live away from their family, vote, participate in a group planning process, or articulate their own rights and needs. In fact, people with developmental disabilities can do all these things. They can be full citizens in our communities, looking for the same types of things in their lives as the rest of us. The biggest barrier they face is often these negative attitudes from others.

    Making contact with the CLBC office or community living service provider in your community can be a first step in meeting people with developmental disabilities and getting to know them and their housing needs and wishes.


    Your next steps

    Creating inclusive housing involves many of the same steps as creating any other kind of housing, and many of the same partnerships are required, such as with the planning and zoning departments of your local municipality.  The opportunity with inclusive housing is to broaden and enrich those partnerships to include individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, and the community agencies that support them. You will find lots of ideas and expertise here in the community living sector. Your first step may be to contact your local community living agency or CLBC office. If you can’t find them, please contact CLBCInfo@gov.bc.ca.

    The Langley Community Living Housing Coalition created a report with step-by-step guidance on how to create these partnerships and collaboration.


    Finding funding

    The key funders of affordable housing for people with disabilities are BC Housing and CMHC. Other potential sources of funding or other assets include:

    • local community living service providers or foundations
    • families of individuals seeking housing
    • service clubs or community groups
    • local governments with affordable housing programs
    • VanCity credit union

    Getting municipal support

    You probably already work with the folks responsible for planning, zoning and permitting at your local municipal government(s). If you are considering inclusive housing in your project, contact them early on. Harness the connections of your community living partners to help build the case for the benefits of inclusive housing for the whole community. This can be a big help in negotiating breaks in development cost charges or other types of in-kind support.

    Click here to see which municipalities in the lower mainland offer regulatory and financial incentives for affordable housing.

  • People who regulate and fund inclusive housing

    Why support inclusive housing?

    Inclusive housing is the way of the future. Not just for people with disabilities, but for all of us as our communities continue to age and get more diverse. Many public funders already target groups that have been historically under-served, such as people with developmental disabilities.  This will continue to expand as demand grows – young people with disabilities have grown up in inclusive schools and have expectations that they will get a job and a place of their own. Demand for the traditional models such a group homes is dropping and demand for more inclusive options is growing.

    Policy, planning and zoning priorities and funding criteria can make a big difference in the expansion of inclusive housing. Here are some examples and ideas of ways to support inclusive housing:

    The latest initiatives from BC Housing

    Examples of how municipalities can support inclusive housing

    A guide for local governments for improving the affordability of market housing

    Ideas for improving affordability of rental housing in Vancouver 

    Ideas for expanding the rental housing supply in the Lower Mainland


    Getting past the misconceptions

    People with developmental disabilities live with many negative stereotypes and assumptions about their ability to live in community like everyone else.  For example, many people assume they cannot hold down a job, live away from their family, vote, participate in a group planning process, or articulate their own rights and needs. In fact, people with developmental disabilities can do all these things. They can be full citizens in our communities, looking for the same types of things in their lives as the rest of us. The biggest barrier they face is often these negative attitudes from others.

    Making contact with the CLBC office or community living service provider in your community can be a first step in meeting people with developmental disabilities and getting to know them and their housing needs and wishes.


    Learn from the experts

    Here are some ways you can learn more:

    BCNPHA conference info 

    BCNPHA training programs 

    CLBC inclusive housing framework document

    Success stories

    Other resources


Who do I contact?

phone-icon-blue_905-copyTo start the conversation about how you can get involved in inclusive housing, contact your local CLBC office to speak to the Director of Regional Operations or Manager or reach out to one of the groups listed here.

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