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Suggested Actions - Housing

The following is a synopsis of the discussions of the housing working group at the Age-Friendly Forum June 2011. The actions below may be initiated by any
level of government, community group or individual.

Promote innovative models of housing that could help seniors in Halton that need affordable housing options

  • Consider home sharing, secondary suites, garden suites, in-law suites; co-housing, or pocket housing (used in Winnipeg).
  • There are many older properties in Halton with houses/land that could be converted to multi-use housing as areas are re-developed.
  • We need political support to explore options for seniors housing in Halton.

Educate and advocate

  • Present ESAC’s research and forum results to the Halton Housing Advisory Committee (HHAC) and Councils of municipalities and other decision making bodies.
  • Share information with developers (Hamilton/Halton Home Association).
  • Identify social entrepreneurs and philanthropists to fund innovative models.
  • Educate community/public about innovative housing models and range of possibilities.
  • Continue to address “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) sentiment re: affordable housing in Halton.

Get school boards and faith groups to consider re-utilizing surplus land for affordable housing

  • Work with them to use lands and space for the community (as gathering spaces).
  • St. Andrews Housing Program used faith community land for a housing development
  • Schools have land and space. There could be opportunities to convert land to be used for a range of services including housing, community facilities etc. Japan has done this well.

Encourage private-public partnership.

  • Encourage property owners to convert empty corporate blocks/ buildings into affordable housing for seniors.
  • Explore municipal-private/service club partnerships.
  • Partner with service clubs like the Oakville Rotary Club and Burlington Rotary to provide affordable housing for seniors in the apartment buildings they operate.

Consider more supportive housing models

  • Assist seniors with the transition from home to a longterm care home.
  • A campus arrangement is a great idea. Are foster homes for seniors a possibility? Abbey Field is a nonprofit housing option for helping seniors.
  • Accessible units continue to be an issue. Any development funded from the government should include accessible units.

Consider solutions to address affordability

  • Funding to build subsidized housing needs to come from all government levels.
  • We need funding that is long-term, sustainable and adequate
  • We need a national housing policy in Canada. This requires advocacy to other levels of government.
  • There are a number of people on Halton Access to Community Housing (HATCH) waitlists. Many do not bother to put their names on the list as it is too long. The seniors who are in serious difficulty are older seniors, especially women who do not collect from the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP).