The Crisis: Supportive Housing in Canada
Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities
The challenges associated with caring for someone with a permanent intellectual & developmental disability (commonly referred to as IDD) are enormous. Parents and caregivers shoulder a lifelong burden of care and financial support to provide a safe and loving environment for each individual.
But what happens after the caregivers are gone?
As it stands today, for the majority of parents and caregivers, there is no one in line to take over and continue providing for their loved one when the primary caregiver is no longer able to do so. The ability of parents or family members to provide continuous 24/7 care is negatively impacted by the aging process, health concerns, job related issues, other logistical problems, and the unspoken reality of ultimate loss of life.
In most cases this means that, when primary care by the parent is no longer available, an individual with IDD will experience a sharp decline in the safety, quality, and length of their life. This projection creates added stress and hardship for the parents and family members caring for special needs adults, as they try to contemplate a succession plan for independent life with supports with the realization that there exists far to few housing options.
Although under the current environment, there are existing group homes and a few safe, independent and community based multi-unit housing options designed for long-term care of special needs adults, these residential options are not sufficient to meet current demands. Firstly, the historical smaller group home model is no longer funded by the Federal and Provincial Governments. The lack of new housing initiatives and community-based funding projects have created a decades-long waiting list for housing and support services for individuals with developmental disabilities.
In Halton Region (Ontario) alone, the waiting list (HATCH List) for individuals with developmental disabilities waiting for housing and supports is said to be around 14,000 families. For the Province of Ontario, the waiting list (DSO List) is said to be around 40,000 families..
In addition, available land and property in prime urban areas that could be used to provide housing and care for those with special needs are still being sold to private developers, further compounding the problem due mostly to municipal zoning issues: Cribwolf is a non-profit organization that promotes dignity, individuality, independence, personal growth and community inclusion for people with diverse abilities. At Cribwolf Foundation we are working to address these concerns, with a primary focus on the availability of housing and support services in every community. Our most immediate project is the location of zoning friendly property and the design and construction of a community-central, multi-unit residential building (MURB), with a mixed tenancy/residency model for adults over the age of 21 with intellectual & developmental disability.
Our Solution: MURB
We need to do better for our communities and the individuals and families within them who are facing housing crisis.
For more details, visit our MURB page.