Housing affordability is a key challenge faced by seniors, but social inclusion is also crucial to their health and well-being. This can be a particular concern for seniors as they age or change from one kind of housing to another. Their emotional and social needs must be recognized and considered alongside issues such as affordability.
The Igniting housing possibilities Solutions Lab will address that need by creating affordable, human-centered housing solutions for seniors in Peel Region. It will enable seniors from diverse backgrounds to participate in the design process for innovative and diverse affordable housing options. These designs will promote community inclusion and proactive responses to affordability issues facing seniors.
3 Key Goals
Identify the housing-related needs and values of seniors from different municipalities and communities.
Include seniors in a design process that values their lived experiences and enables them to co-create viable solutions.
Create affordable housing options that meet the needs of the diverse population of seniors in Peel Region.
Project scope and expected outcomes
Not all seniors are the same
According to the 2016 census, 1 in 5 households in Peel Region is senior-led. The senior population in the region is also growing quickly, increasing by 113% between 2001 and 2016. This group faces unique challenges related to housing, including financial vulnerability, but not all seniors are the same. Their needs and values may differ by municipality, community or individual.
The Igniting housing possibilities Lab recognizes that identifying those differences is crucial to creating a lasting positive impact. To do this, it engages seniors in its design and testing process. Their lived experience will help the Lab create the innovative and diverse housing solutions needed by seniors in Peel Region. It also ensures that seniors feel included in the process and that the resulting designs are socially inclusive and sustainable.
Strong local roots
The Lab will feature two different co-design groups. The first is the community design team, which consists of 10 to 15 seniors from Peel Region. They will have strong local roots and be the key design team and community representatives. The Knowledge-to-Action group will involve 10 to 15 subject matter experts in the region. They will be a key way of sharing and championing solutions at the organizational level.
The Lab will occur over 5 phases:
- The Definition Phase sets the context for the Lab work. A detailed engagement strategy that outlines all of the Lab and co-design events will be developed. A comprehensive Lab stakeholder list also will be created.
- The Discovery Phase frames the problem and challenges the assumptions of the lab team and participants. Secondary research will be conducted, and interviews with stakeholders and participants will be undertaken. Two Lab events will be held, and the information from the interviews and research will be synthesized and analyzed.
- The Development Phase involves the participants creating ideas and solutions. Two lab events will guide them through both the brainstorming process and activities to synthesize some of their ideas.
- The Prototype and Test Phase prioritizes activities that help make solutions and models feel real. This allows them to be tested, discussed and evaluated. This includes creating more realistic prototypes, such as detailed mock-ups, service design blueprints or digital models. A prototype report will synthesize the findings from this phase.
- The Roadmap Phase will emphasize communicating and sharing the knowledge gained through the Lab process. It will provide time for participants and the lab team to assess the feasibility and viability of the ideas. They also will discuss next steps and develop an implementation plan for realizing the most promising solutions.
Documenting the community-led design process
The Lab’s roadmap will be completed in the final phase. It will highlight a plan for implementing the chosen solutions throughout Peel Region. An engagement toolkit will document the community-led design process, and multimedia products will showcase the solutions. The results also will be shared through conferences and webinars, especially those related to seniors issues and housing.
Project Team: Regional Municipality of Peel
Location: Brampton, ON
Project Collaborators / Partners:
- Region of Peel
- SHS Consulting
- Indus Community Services
- Peel Senior Link
- Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP)—Brampton Chapter
- The Residences of Villa Polonia
Adrienne Pacini, 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.