Here are some of the reasons for, and benefits of, collaboration and partnership:
- Successful inclusive housing is dependent on a number of elements. No one group has the full mandate to house people with
- developmental disabilities or champion the benefits for communities. Inclusive housing requires a combination of land or existing buildings, money, vision, understanding, planning design and building expertise, appropriate zoning, and perhaps paid supports. No one agency or family has all of those resources.
- Working with others enables organizations, individuals and families to capitalize on their respective strengths and serve their respective interests and needs.
- Most public funding requires partnerships of some kind.
- Finding new allies can strengthen inclusive housing as well as our communities in general. It builds capacity.
- Collaborating with CLBC allows us to plan to provide supports for people who live there. Collaboration brings a diversity of perspectives to the table and the result is more likely to work for more people, and less likely to have barriers or issues that others might have identified.
Ideas when looking for partners
Here are some ideas to consider when looking for partners or getting into a collaborative process:
- Explore your respective missions and interests. Look for the places where they intersect or overlap. Build on those. Be careful of areas where they contradict each other. Make sure these are not potential deal-breakers.
- Get to know each other. Build awareness and intentionality first. They will stand you in good stead when you end up in the weeds at some point – as inevitably happens on complex projects.
- Look for allies in unexpected places. Take the blinders off. If you are used to only dealing with the public sector, consider private builders, land owners, local service clubs or foundations. If you are used to operating only in the private sector, check out your local community living agency or community social planning council.
- Gather a few people together to map your community for assets, resources, and strengths that could support inclusive housing. Assume your community has capacity. Follow the paths you create and see what you find. Talk to people who may have already done this kind of mapping.
- Think about different partners leveraging their separate assets to create something they all want to see.
- Talk to people who have already done this and learn from them.
- Consider asking for ideas from organizations involved with housing other groups of disenfranchised people, such as seniors or people living with mental health challenges.
- Look for leaders and mentors. Become one yourself.
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.