Inclusive Housing

Action Plan

The Lab’s Roadmap: An Action Plan for Inclusive Housing

Based on the Framework, we identified five areas for action:

  • Neighbourly connections and mutual support
  • Supportive government policy and programs
  • Increased inclusive housing options
  • Inclusive housing partnerships and movement
  • Improved access to housing supports and information

Roadmap Impact Areas

New Brunswick Inclusive Housing Solutions Roadmap

Using the five Impact Areas to guide us, a New Brunswick Inclusive Housing Solutions Roadmap was created. The Roadmap was developed at an Inclusive Housing Forum where 75 people from around New Brunswick representing government, diverse community organizations, living experience, and funders contributed their ideas and expertise.

Download Full Roadmap

Making the Roadmap Work Outside of New Brunswick

The good news is that the Roadmap action items are possible to implement outside New Brunswick. Here are some examples:

Mobilizing groups around neighbourly connection initiatives can be relatively straightforward.

Many communities have numerous assets such as programs, services, physical gathering spaces, outdoor/green spaces, service, or community groups, concerned citizens, etc. to support the development of neighbourly connection initiatives. In some cases, the collaborative work may require resources. Funding for a coordinator role is not an excessive expense – some usual costs are a phone line, computer, internet, and salary. The work can be done from one’s home, or a local group may offer shared space. The lower cost of a coordinator role makes this replicable. There are also free or low-cost resources for getting started on community development, for example, the Tamarack Institute. Sharing information and learning from others are foundational to community development so you’ll be off to a great start.

An Inclusive Housing movement is possible

in any community, town, city, province or nationally. From conversations in our Lab, the wide range of stakeholders and people with living experience who attended the Inclusive Housing Forum, and information from other housing groups, we know the interest is there, but the capacity to coordinate the work is the struggle. Identifying someone whose role is the coordination of the work is important. That role might align with someone’s current job, or funding might need to be sourced to support hiring.

Building on the resources of our National Community of Practice (CoP)

While we believe in and support community-lead initiatives, we also believe we can learn from others. When there are people, groups, or institutions external to your project group who have information or resources that would benefit the work you are doing, you might consider creating a Community of Practice group. The CoP is there as a resource, but not as the leader or decision maker for your project. There are ways that CoPs can support local work while also expanding the reach of the project. For example, members of the Lab’s CoP are developing webinars related to the impact areas of the Inclusive Housing Framework. These webinars will be recorded and available on the Inclusive Housing website as a public resource.

Nothing without us

Ensuring that persons with experience are co-creators / co-leaders of a project that is meant to impact them is essential. This aspect of our Lab is replicable and probably the most significant piece of any housing or community work going forward. The approach must be meaningful and respectful. There are resources available about how to develop a project so that all voices are at the table (or even better – to support a first-voice initiated project.) Examples of inclusive and collaborative work based on geography (neighbourhoods or communities) can be found in the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach. The Tamarack Institute in Canada has an extensive resource library on community development and ABCD, specifically. Simon Fraser University’s Public Square has developed an online guide titled: Accessibility and Inclusion in Community-Engaged Events. This guide includes very clear information as well as additional resources related to accessibility and inclusion. Additionally, some best practices related to including persons with experience were developed and researched by the Health and Social Care Alliance in Scotland, UK. Their research project from October 2022 is called, “Engaging people with lived experience: best practice, challenges, and opportunities. (A research study on involving people with lived experience into health and social care policy and decision-making).” For our Inclusive Housing Solutions Lab, we were looking at housing inclusivity specifically related to persons with intellectual disabilities. While many of the guidelines listed above are applicable to ensuring the full participation of persons with intellectual disabilities, there can be other considerations. One approach we used during the Lab included creating our project schedule with extra time so that we could meet with any person with an intellectual disability in the days before the meeting to review the meeting materials – especially when the agenda called for group discussions and responding spontaneously to questions. This meant having the materials for the meeting, including the purpose of the meeting and the key terminology, ready well in advance of any meetings or gatherings. Additionally, having skilled facilitators for any meetings makes all the difference for full participation. Skilled facilitators will know to give everyone in attendance plenty of time to consider their questions, comments or responses during the meeting, and will call on people who have not spoken much during the session. The outcomes of this Lab are richer for the people who were involved. On a weekly basis the input of all the Stewardship Team members - which included members with experience, ensured that we were learning and adapting towards useful outcomes for our Inclusive Housing Roadmap.
Are you involved in an inclusive housing initiative? Want to connect with one of the groups working on the action plan?

Our Housing Coordinator is here to help!

Get in touch!