What is inclusive housing?
Inclusive housing is based on a vision that allows people with disabilities to live a good life in a welcoming community. Inclusive housing allows people with diverse needs to have a choice in where they live.
Congregated, segregated and institutional settings are not considered inclusive housing because the individuals are not integrated into a neighbourhood. Ideally, inclusive housing looks similar to the type of housing we are familiar with in residential neighbourhoods. Apartment buildings and secondary suites are examples. Inclusive housing needs to be affordable, welcoming, close to community amenities and physically accessible. Individuals need opportunities for employment, volunteerism, recreation and social events.
With support and a welcoming community, many of these people can live in regular neighbourhoods. For eligible individuals, Community Living BC (CLBC) and other agencies provide funding for supports and services.
The foundation of inclusive housing includes the following concepts:
Choice and Control
Choice and control over living space is fundamental to the concept of home and quality of life. Individuals are empowered and become more confident when where they live is determined by their preferences and values.
Affordable Housing is any type of housing where the rent does not cause a financial burden upon the occupant, making it difficult to meet their basic needs. This amount is generally considered to be 30% of one’s monthly income.
Housing must meet basic requirements that give people access to both their community and their home. It is important to have access to necessities such as, shopping, grocery stores, and medical services within a walkable neighbourhood. Equally important are, frequently running bus routes, opportunities for employment, volunteerism, recreation and entertainment.
Ratio of people with and without disabilities
Inclusion is not defined by a number, but rather by the size of the development and the neighbourhood in which it is located. It is the understanding that each individual whatever their abilities brings something unique to the community.
Diversity of people refers to: different ages, cultural backgrounds, geographies, physical and intellectual abilities, religions, genders, and sexual orientation. True diversity, goes beyond social categories. It includes all the elements that make people unique from one another such as their characteristics, preferences, perspectives, even their biases. Diversity promotes wisdom and a meaningful community.
Housing needs to provide stability by allowing individuals to stay in their chosen ‘home’ for as long as they desire and at a cost that remains affordable.
When will inclusive housing be available in Delta?
Long Term Planning
If we start now, a broader spectrum of inclusive housing options will be available in 5 years.
Who is responsible for creating affordable inclusive housing?
There is no single organization responsible for creating affordable inclusive housing. Collaborative, strategic planning and partnerships is key.
All three levels of government, namely municipal, provincial and federal governments, are called to provide leadership and funding for inclusive housing.
Local Businesses and Agencies
Developers, non-profit housing providers, service providers and community living agencies are called to collaborate with government in providing a timely response to the housing needs in the community.
Families and Individuals
All of us are called to advocate for a vibrant, inclusive community where people have the opportunity to live close to their family and friends throughout their lifespan.