Special Needs Housing

Accessible and appropriate housing is fundamental to the development of a socially sustainable community. For people living with a disability or with special needs, the key issues are affordability, adaptability and access to a range of housing options. The City works with representatives from the community to address these issues and find viable solutions, ensuring the development of effective housing policies and guidelines.

Guidelines & Considerations For Integrating Housing Units For Persons With Special Needs

  • Location considerations must include availability of transit (e.g. on or adjacent to bus routes) and access to shopping, leisure and recreation opportunities, ideally within two or three blocks.
  • Early in the process, find and work with a society or association, which will manage the units on an ongoing basis. In determining an appropriate administering group, consider efficiencies in administration from societies with other projects located nearby.
  • Assist in obtaining assured subsidy (on a continuing basis) for integrated units.
  • Within each project, attempt to have a minimum of two or three subsidized rental units for persons with disabilities to prevent isolation.
  • For housing persons requiring higher care levels, consider a grouping of six to eight units to enable pooling of care and services; an ideal range is 5 to 10 percent of integrated units within a residential complex.
  • In stratified buildings, carefully choose the type of level of disability and incorporate the level of maintenance fees and rental status assurance for the special units into a housing agreement with the project developer. Also stipulate these as requirements in the strata bylaws to provide full disclosure to potential buyers and protection for tenants and administrators of special units. Consider a policy that all units have one vote regardless of tenure or status.
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