Affordable, Accessible, & Inclusive Housing
Stable housing leads to health, happiness, secure employment, and community engagement. We believe that everyone should be able to afford their own home and choose their living arrangements.
However, Ontario’s growing demand for homes and rising rent prices mean that people on a limited income end up paying more than they can afford for housing.
That is why we are working towards our first affordable housing project in North Bay. We are renovating a former group home so that people with disabilities will not only be included but will be central to the design and live in an intentional community with people of all abilities.
Our plan aligns with government priorities to create affordable housing options where people “belong and live inclusive lives.” It will be the first of what we hope are many affordable housing solutions that will meet the needs of many and provide a community for all.
A stable home is the foundation for everyone’s success in all areas of life. For persons living with developmental disabilities, who rely on government support, not only is affordability a challenge, but accessibility is a requirement. People need accessible, affordable housing for their success – a place where they truly feel at home in a diverse community that fully accepts and includes them. We want entire housing projects to begin with a design for the inclusion of people with disabilities and universal accessibility for all.
People who receive support will have an opportunity to have their own lease, providing separation between support and housing, and can live in their unit as long as they need it to be their home. We are exploring partnerships where, as part of a placement opportunity, post-secondary students will live in one of the units and facilitate community experiences. Following the Elmira Supportive Housing model called “Snow Goose,” we plan to carefully integrate tenants with and without disabilities who are committed to supportive communities.
To increase independence and build a more integrated community experience, Christian Horizons’ multi-unit affordable housing in North Bay will provide a support base for adults who experience developmental disabilities with the ability to live independently, with individualized support in an inclusive community with people of all abilities.
Our community-based model of affordable housing will create a real community of belonging for all who live there. Providing this stability may help them find employment, improve their health, increase their overall self-worth and find a place where they belong. In doing so, a community is enriched by the diversity it experiences, by the additional social capital, and by the added civic participation of all its members.
With a vacancy rate of 1.6% (2021), the housing crisis in North Bay has continued to deepen over the last few years.
Currently, Christian Horizons supports two individuals in North Bay who are living in temporary housing as a result of the sale of their previous home by the landlord. The challenge of accessing affordable housing for these individuals has propelled Christian Horizons to find creative ways to contribute to the solution while helping to address the growing need for affordable housing for all in North Bay.
We are transforming a 12-bedroom group home into four 2-bedroom accessible units that will offer shared communal living spaces such as a front porch, backyard, and spacious dining areas for gatherings in the two main-floor units.
- 1 unit for two Christian Horizon clients
- 3 units with affordable rates
- Common area for Program Staff to provide support
“We are excited to bring Christian Horizons’ model for affordable housing to North Bay. This housing model will create a true feeling of belonging and a sense of community for all those living here. We are committed to becoming a reputable landlord providing safe, secure, intergenerational housing for members of this community who have felt marginalized in the past. We are seeing ‘ownership’ for the project taking shape in those currently living in the house at First Avenue and with the staff team. There is a growing excitement to be able to help others.”
Ingrid Dykstra – North District Executive Director
Fifty-five years ago, when Steven Reese was born, the only option for support for people with disabilities was in large, government-run institutions. The Reese family dreamed of something better – a place that provides the opportunity to include people who experience disabilities. Christian Horizons is now furthering the Reese’s dream by building inclusive and affordable communities in North Bay that will improve the lives of many and ensure everyone benefits!