Inclusion BC and Community Living BC (CLBC) have today launched a collaborative three-year plan to increase inclusive housing options in British Columbia. The plan was developed by an Inclusive Housing Task Force (IHTF) created by both organizations.
Adults with developmental disabilities, and their families, have told us that access to inclusive housing is a vital need. Recent investments by federal and provincial governments in housing provide a tremendous opportunity. However, meeting the need requires information, awareness and collaboration among municipalities, developers, service agencies, self advocates and family groups.
Inclusive housing means homes where people with developmental disabilities feel they are a part of their communities. It is accessible, stable housing where they have choice and control over their living space, and where they live with neighbours who do not have disabilities and have diverse interests and backgrounds. Inclusive housing improves the quality of life for all community residents.
To increase inclusive housing, over the next three years Inclusion BC and CLBC will collaborate in four areas:
- Data and Resources – to conduct research to outline current and future demand for inclusive housing for use by governments, housing providers, housing developers, community living agencies and individuals and families.
- Identity and visibility – to help the community living and housing sectors raise awareness among all stakeholders about the benefits of inclusive housing for both individuals and their communities.
- Affordability and finance – to support housing initiatives at the federal, provincial and municipal government level to ensure people with developmental disabilities benefit from these initiatives.
- Inclusive design – to support people with developmental disabilities to participate in planning and design of inclusive housing projects, and to encourage the adoption of universal design criteria.
This plan was created by a 14-member Inclusive Housing Task Force (IHTF) established by Inclusion BC and CLBC. The IHTF invited more than 60 resource people for a full day forum on January 18, 2018 to create the framework of the plan. Participants included people with disabilities, family members, developers, builders, elected officials, city planners, Indigenous groups and community organizations.
About Inclusion BC and Community Living BC
Inclusion BC is a provincial non-profit federation whose members include people with intellectual disabilities, families and community agencies. We provide one-to-one advocacy and community referral support, helping people get what they need to live a good life in community. We also advocate at a systems level, working with partners to advance policy change and progress across the province. Inclusion BC brings attention to critical issues through our public awareness campaigns, published resources and learning events. We are working to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families by supporting abilities, promoting action and advancing rights, responsibilities and social justice.
“Deciding where to live is a personal choice. The opportunity to choose where and with whom to live should be available to all citizens,” says Karla Verschoor, Inclusion BC Executive Director. “Historically, people with developmental disabilities have been denied this choice, having to live in congregated settings, separated from the rest of the community. We’re excited about this new collaboration with CLBC, as we work with partners to increase self determination and choice, realizing our collective vision of inclusive communities that include everyone.”
Community Living BC
Community Living BC (CLBC) is a crown corporation that funds supports and services for adults with disabilities to have lives filled with possibilities in welcoming communities. CLBC funds supports to address disability related needs, including in individuals’ homes. It also assists individuals and their families to connect to community supports including transit, recreation and social clubs. CLBC is working to create communities where people with developmental disabilities have more choices in how they live, work and contribute.
“Our communities are happier and stronger when everyone is included,” says Seonag Macrae, CEO of Community Living BC. “To achieve this, we must work together to increase inclusive housing options. I am grateful for this collaboration with Inclusion BC, and for the commitment of governments and partners across the province, who are responding in a positive way to the benefits we can achieve for those we serve, and to entire communities.”
Danielle Kelliher, Communications Director
(604) 777-9100, extension 511; firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Living BC
Randy Schmidt, Communications Director