Faith-based organizations are often asset-rich but cash-poor. With a little help, however, they can take action to support the supply of affordable housing in their communities, and thus address issues such as loneliness and homelessness. This is the story of Co:Here Housing in Vancouver, born out of a partnership between Grandview Church and the Salsbury Community Society.
How do community housing organizations ensure survival, growth and anticipate the future? These are issues that Birch Housing, which has been in operation since 1975 in the Toronto area, has been thinking about. It inspired them to go undergo a process to better understand their situation and to reposition themselves with a mission, clearly defined vision, values and directions, with a view to ensure not only survival but growth.
Cohousing could be a remedy for the social isolation experienced by many—young and old—and could reduce the human footprint on the planet. But this type of community is still uncommon in Canada and can take many years to develop. The non-profit Village Urbain is currently developing a cohousing project destined for the greater Montréal area, and aims to “professionalize” this unique form of community.
The Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association has set ambitious goals in its plans to address Indigenous housing needs. With one-in-four Indigenous persons in Ontario living in poverty, affordable housing is seen as an important way to reduce stressors faced by so many First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, both on- and off-reserve.
Toronto-based Mainstay Housing and Houselink Community Homes have joined forces and officially formed Houselink & Mainstay Inc. as of April 1, making them the largest supportive-housing provider in Canada.
Phoenix Youth Programs has been working with young people in Halifax since 1987 and continues to adjust to new realities, such as the current housing crisis. As part of its Centre-supported Bedrock project, the non-profit group recently initiated a study to identify and explore other models that may enrich its service offering.
In the Eastern Townships region of Québec, the non-profit organization Hameau des Cultures seeks to provide eldercare to people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Focusing on the human rather than the disease, its compassionate model of care is a breath of fresh air in a sector riddled with problems.
With the active support of the Community Housing Transformation Centre and St. Francis Xavier University’s Extension Department, Nova Scotia’s non-profit and co-operative housing groups are exploring the need and desire to strengthen their individual and collective capacity to further develop the sector.
The Rising Tide Community Initiatives affordable housing project in Moncton is expected to welcome its first residents before the summer. The project is also waiting to see if its application for funding under the federal Rapid Housing Initiative will be accepted. If so, the number of dwellings created over three years could increase from 125 to 160, Rising Tide co-founder Dale Hicks told the Centre.