Economic uncertainty is a key factor contributing to housing insecurity in New Brunswick. Pandemic conditions have worsened historic trends. This has created significant cost increases and barriers to accessing affordable and generationally secure housing. These conditions don’t affect everyone equally: People facing barriers such as violence, addiction and mental health issues are far more affected by housing insecurity. They often need more intensive, innovative and personalized support to reach and maintain their core housing needs. There is also public stigma around intimate partner violence, mental health and addictions. This stigma increases the barriers people may face when reaching out for support.
This Lab will explore factors that can be addressed to support a housing solution that is stable, secure and affordable now and for future generations. It will also ensure these solutions are accessible and equitable so everyone who needs complex support can actually get it.
3 Key Findings
Co-develop a housing model that creates safe, stable, and accessible housing for generations.
Provides a solution to housing that creates fairness for those experiencing barriers such as violence, addiction, and mental health challenges.
Identify ways to provide wrap-around services in addition to housing, using a road map framework to implement and scale the solution for use across Canada’s east coast and beyond.
Project scope and expected outcomes
Engaging impacted community groups
The housing market in urban New Brunswick has become increasingly expensive. Average house prices climbed by 24.5% from October 2020 to October 2021 and the inventory of available homes fell to its lowest-ever level. These costs are often passed onto renters.
To support people struggling to access core housing without the necessary supports this Lab will focus on creating an approach to wrap-around support services. These services will help people experiencing multiple barriers access and maintain stable, safe and generationally secure housing.
This Lab will initially focus on people struggling with mental health and addictions as well as people fleeing domestic violence. The Lab will prioritize engagement with these groups, exploring homelessness risks and gaps in service between short-term crisis supports and long-term secure housing. The Lab will focus on these 2 populations because people often experience both challenges while trying to meet their core housing needs.
With the support of experts who have existing trust-based relationships with people who have lived experience of homelessness, the Lab will work to better understand:
- the services being offered
- how they are helping people needing support
- how effective the services are
The Lab has 5 phases:
- The Definition Phase will validate the problem and confirm a work plan. It will do this by setting up a governance structure, creating a discovery wheel process for key partners and establishing a list of participants.
- The Discovery Phase will be split into 2 streams. The first stream will conduct research through a narrative review, site visits and interviews. The second stream will see the creation of asset maps, stakeholder engagement and desk research. This phase will also result in system mapping, journey mapping and mapping the effects of a geographical location on peoples’ emotions and behaviour.
- The Development Phase includes a sensemaking and an analysis workshop with stakeholders and a roadmap workshop. These workshops will deliver a findings report to support the final project delivery.
- The Prototype and Test Phase will deliver the design of a project sample as well as the method of delivery, required documentation and toolkits. The phase will also see the project sample tested and reviewed for feedback.
- The Roadmap Phase includes a final review session with partners and service providers. It will also have a summary of learnings and the next steps outlined in a project roadmap.
Sharing the ‘big book’ roadmap
A core outcome of the Lab will be sharing the ”big book” of knowledge products as part of the final roadmap for action established during the project. The final project will:
- share an understanding of system gaps with identified opportunities to improve housing safety and security
- include guidelines for implementation for all identified stakeholders
- Cory Herc – O Strategies
- Jason Doiron – O Strategies
- Lise Clement – Lansdowne Consulting Group – CTLabs
- Bryn Ferris – Lansdowne Consulting Group – CTLabs
- Lewis Muirhead – Alternate Future Design Group
- Melissa Béchard – O Strategies
Get More Information:
Visit the National Housing Strategy’s Innovation page.
Search our Housing Knowledge Centre for important updates on the progress of this lab.