Inclusive housing is about buildings, developments or neighbourhoods that are home to people with diverse life experiences, backgrounds, and needs. Including those who have been historically isolated or segregated from our communities – such as people with developmental disabilities.
What it looks like
Successful inclusive housing offers people with developmental disabilities choice in where they live and who they live with. It fosters relationships among people and vibrant community life. It promotes safety and allows individuals to experience life in a neighbourhood. Usually it looks like housing for most other people and needs to be:
- Welcoming and community-facing
- Close to amenities such as recreation, transit, shopping, and medical services
Depending on the individuals who will be calling it home, here are some other aspects that you may need to consider and plan for:
- Design aspects to support people to make friends and maximize natural and paid supports, such as common rooms, community kitchens or office space
- Ways to ensure people can access community and neighbourhood amenities as well as services they require
- Incorporation of natural supports, such as family or friends helping out and maybe staying overnight at times
- Features to support people’s diverse abilities and promote their safety at home and in community – for example physical accessibility
- Provisions for paid staff people who may or may not ‘live-in’
- Ways to help people navigate important life transitions such as life skills training to support someone moving away from home for the first time or adaptations to allow someone to age in place
How to do it
Inclusive housing is about building community…one home at a time. Here are some possible ways to do it:
- A community living society leverages its assets to buy or build strata, rental or life-lease units. Some may be sold or rented at subsidized rates to individuals with developmental disabilities, and the rest at market rates. Any units bought by individuals with developmental disabilities are sold back to the society when they leave.
- A non-profit housing association rents a certain number of units in a building to people with developmental disabilities. These individuals share support staff funded by CLBC, and with their support staff find ways to contribute to their neighbours and the community within the building.
- Self advocates and a community living society enter into a co-ownership agreement for several townhouses.
- Parents form a non-profit society and pool resources to leverage the start of a co- housing development.
Who do I contact?
To 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.