Key to home: Open the door to inclusive housing

A new video and website called Key to Home have been launched to help individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, and service providers build awareness in their local communities for more inclusive housing. The web site can be found here.

The web site provides research information on the need for inclusive housing in B.C. and a video and materials to make presentations to local city councils, planners, developers, and non-profit housing providers.

The goal is to ensure local community housing plans and projects include spaces for people with disabilities.

It also provides a series of information sheets to help individuals plan, together with their families and friends, to achieve their dream of living as independently as possible.

The Key to Home campaign was created by Community Living BC (CLBC) and Inclusion BC and follows through on the 2018 Inclusive Taskforce plan to increase access to inclusive housing.

The new website hosts a research report prepared by the BC Non-Profit Housing Association that summarizes survey and focus group input from adults with developmental disabilities and their families. The research found that there is significant demand for inclusive housing. About 5,000 individuals with developmental disabilities need and will want housing within the next five years.  You can see the report here.

One aim of the Key to Home campaign is to help people understand what makes for inclusive housing: affordability, accessibility, diversity as well as choice, and control.

Most importantly, it means people with developmental disabilities live next door to everyone else – and are not segregated or congregated together on the same floor or in a building by themselves.

“Having a home means more than just a roof over your head,” says Karla Verschoor, Executive Director, Inclusion BC. “It means having choice and control, financial security, and being a part of a community that celebrates diversity and inclusion. Key to Home is confronting the barriers that have kept these things out of reach for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for far too long.”

“Many local housing decision-makers may not be aware of the critical need for housing from adults with developmental disabilities in their own community,” says Ross Chilton, CEO of Community Living BC.  “The individuals and families we serve have told us having a home is a top priority. We hope this information will help lead to the creation of more inclusive housing. We believe that this form of housing will benefit everyone in the community.”