The Seniors Housing Lab will use a community-based approach to create stability for Metro Vancouver seniors who rent
New Westminster, British Columbia, June 5, 2019 – The Seniors Services Society of BC has received $95,501.00 in funding from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) under the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development to fund its Seniors Housing Lab. This innovative project will explore what it takes for senior renters to age-in-the-right-place.
The Seniors Housing Lab will operate in partnership with Brightside Community Homes Foundation – one of Vancouver’s oldest and longest-standing affordable housing societies for seniors – as well as five other organizations across BC, including LandlordBC, Gerontology Research Center at Simon Fraser University, United Way of the Lower Mainland, Burnaby Community Services and BC Non-Profit Housing Association.
Kara-Leigh Bloch, the Executive Director of Senior Services Society said: “The Seniors Housing Lab aims to generate new, collaborative solutions that will reduce the number of seniors who live at-risk of eviction or becoming homeless, and drastically increase their quality of life and support an environment that helps senior renters thrive.”
Carolina Ibarra, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Brightside, welcomed the funding: “The number of homeless seniors in Metro Vancouver has quadrupled since 2005, and older women are most at risk. Brightside is excited to participate and lend its expertise to this Lab, with the hope of reaching collective action and sustainable community housing solutions for senior renters living in multi-unit housing complexes in Metro Vancouver.”
The Seniors Housing Lab will undertake 18 months of research and feature four participatory workshops. This multi-sectoral and diverse collaboration will include hearing first-hand from seniors directly impacted by housing challenges and will bring together stakeholders to co-create solutions. The project will work towards ensuring seniors feel safe and comfortable in their housing, reduce threats of seniors losing their rental housing and support them to live with health and dignity.
The funding is part of wider financing of $2.2 million from CMHC for eleven project recipients through the National Housing Strategy (NHS) Solutions Labs Initiative. The NHS Solutions Labs Initiative provides housing stakeholders with funding and expert innovation lab consultants to help solve complex housing problems using innovative methods and tools. The Seniors Housing Lab is proud to be working with RADIUS SFU as its social innovation lab consulting partner.