Thousands of people with intellectual disabilities living in BC struggle to meet their basic housing needs. Inclusion BC is working hard to improve access to quality, affordable housing and the individualized and flexible supports people need to be safe and included in their community.
People with intellectual disabilities face enormous barriers in the search for a home that is affordable, safe and inclusive.
What we know
- adults with intellectual disabilities are over-represented in homeless shelters
- adults living with their aging parents don’t have the resources or support to live outside the family home
- aging family caregivers are exhausted and worried about the future of their loved ones
- adults are placed in nursing homes or other congregate facilities because they cannot access support in the community
- people with intellectual disabilities are four times more likely to be victims of violence and abuse than other British Columbians.
Inclusion BC provides one-to-one advocacy support to families and individuals, helping them find affordable, inclusive housing and supporting them to advocate for the supports they need.
But we know that in order for real change to happen, systems need to work for people and be available when they need them. Our one-to-one advocacy informs our policy advocacy. When we meet with ministers and policy makers we tell them what we hear from families, we show how the system isn’t working, and what needs to be done to fix it.
We estimate that over 10,000 adults with intellectual disabilities living in British Columbia are without the affordable housing, needed personal supports and community links that keep individuals safe, living with dignity and socially and economically included in their communities.
We’re excited about the many affordable housing initiatives happening in communities across the province. But for people with intellectual disabilities, affordability is just one piece of a larger puzzle. Personalized, flexible supports must be available where and when they need them.
That’s why Inclusion BC spearheaded a partnered with Community Living BC (CLBC), the crown agency funding body, to launch a joint three-year housing strategy for people with intellectual disabilities. Together we’re working with BC Housing, CMHC, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and countless other partners to address the housing crisis and create new affordable, inclusive and quality housing options.
The joint strategy was informed by the results of an inclusive housing forum hosted by Inclusion BC in January 2018. The diverse group of 70 attendees included property developers, service providers, non-profit and government housing agencies, families and individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Fixing the housing crisis requires a team approach. Inclusion BC is uniquely positioned to bring together all stakeholders so together we can build vibrant and welcoming communities that include everyone.