There is a current shortage of suitable and affordable housing solutions for seniors that allow healthy aging in place. This shortage will only become worse as the number of seniors in Canada grows. However, traditional methods of supplier-led development for seniors housing often does not meet the needs and desires of seniors. New collaborative models of housing development and stewardship are needed to address the problem.
The Enabling citizen-led housing Solutions Lab will engage seniors and developers to create new, suitable housing options. It will explore new ways of creating and maintaining housing to enable aging in place. This new approach to planning and development will involve collaboration between seniors, community organizations and the private sector.
3 Key Goals
Engage seniors and developers in designing new ways of creating and maintaining housing to enable a more balanced supply.
Investigate which roles smaller organizations and community-based groups might play in housing development and how to enable them.
Share findings, learnings and knowledge from Lab events that can be replicated and implemented by communities across Canada.
Project scope and expected outcomes
A more balanced design and risk-sharing approach
Shortages in affordable and suitable seniors housing options have led to growing interest in grassroots or community-led housing models. These models include co-housing, new forms of co-operative living and home-sharing arrangements. Grassroots efforts, however, require lots of skill, time and effort, all of which can be prohibitive. Without experience in housing development, citizen-led models risk making slow progress or losing momentum entirely.
This Lab seeks to find a middle ground between citizen-led models of housing development and supplier-led housing. The Lab Team will use this process as an opportunity to introduce citizen-led approaches to housing development and stewardship. These efforts aim to create new housing development business models. This will lead to a variety of affordable housing options that support wellbeing and belonging for people as they age.
Understanding human experiences
Seniors will play a leading role in the Lab, working with designers, developers and other stakeholders. The Lab Team will emphasize understanding human experiences and how they can produce new solutions and approaches.
The Lab will occur over 5 phases:
- The Definition Phase will help the team set the context for the Lab. This includes developing detailed engagement and communications strategies.
- The Discovery Phase will invite Lab participants to share their perspectives through the Lab engagement activities. Methods will include key informant interviews and collaborative workshops.
- The Development Phase will begin the creative process of exploring new solutions. Lab participants will work in diverse groups to brainstorm their ideas.
- The Prototype and Test Phase will focus on bringing the solutions and ideas to life in engaging and interactive ways. Prototypes will allow participants and other stakeholders to interact with the ideas and provide feedback.
- The Roadmap Phase will provide time to assess the feasibility and viability of some of the prototyped ideas. The Lab Team will create and share products with others seeking to replicate and implement the initiative.
Committed to sharing results and solutions
The Lab consists of a network of communities, partners and professionals committed to sharing its results and solutions. The Lab Team will consolidate all of the Lab’s event materials and outcomes into one final lab report. The project results will also be shared through video- and web-based content and several conferences and webinars. All of the knowledge products will be made public.
Project Team: Toronto Council on Aging
Location: Toronto, ON
Project Collaborators / Partners:
- Lantz & Associates Consulting
- SHS Consulting
- The National Institute on Ageing at the Ted Rogers School of Management of Ryerson University
- SHS Consulting
Get More Information:
Email Innovation-Research@cmhc.ca or visit our website to learn more about the initiatives under the National Housing Strategy.