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Delta housing for everyone

The city needs to ensure it provides future housing for those with developmental and other disabilities, and there could be opportunities to include seniors with that housing.
delta housing for people with disabilities
Delta Housing Be Mine Society president Shirley-Anne Reid (right with her son Kurtis and Becki Allen.

The city needs to ensure it provides future housing for those with developmental and other disabilities, and there could be opportunities to include seniors with that housing.

That finding on supportive housing is contained in the recently released comprehensive community and housing profile report for Delta, which will form an overall housing needs assessment and shape a housing action plan this year.

The report notes participants during community consultations spoke about the significant need for inclusive housing for people with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities as well as seniors needing supports.

One study estimates that 400 people with developmental disabilities will need independent rental housing over the next 10 years, the report notes.

The report also found that while data on the housing needs of individuals with developmental disabilities is not readily available, a number of participants in community workshops and stakeholders identified the need for increased support for this group.

“Parents of children with developmental disabilities expressed concern over the housing options for their children as parents aged or passed away. It was noted that it can be difficult to find social supports because social service workers cannot afford the housing costs in Delta. The Community and Housing Profile shows that the number of persons with disabilities on BC Housing’s Housing Registry has remained relatively stable over the past number of years.

delta housing be mine

Photo from Delta Housing Be Mine Society website


“However, the number of applicants requiring wheelchair accessible units is increasing. Shelter rates for individuals with disabilities on income assistance are also currently significantly below market rates, and an ongoing lack of rental housing in the region puts further pressure on this group. Coupled with an aging population, and 28% of survey respondents who anticipate needing supportive housing in the next 20 to 30 years, the need for a mixture of supportive housing options that are affordable and accessible emerged as a key theme in the engagements.”

The report found that individuals with developmental disabilities that required supports were cited as a key group that is underserved in Delta.


“This group may still be living at home, but aging parents are not able to support these individuals over the long term. Few affordable housing options are suited for individuals with developmental disabilities in Delta, as they cannot necessarily pay market rental rates and often require wrap around support services.”

It’s also a message conveyed by the Delta Housing Be Mine Society, which has been calling for a housing plan that includes residents with intellectual disabilities.

“What would happen my son Kurtis if I were to go to? I actually have five children, so hopefully one will pick up that support for him, but there are many out there who don’t have that security. What would happen to him is that he would be put, probably, in a home share or whatever is available for residential living. He would be moved out of his community where he has all his connections, where he works and volunteers and is an athlete,” said society president Shirley-Ann Reid in an interview last year.

delta housing

A previous Delta report also pointed out that adults with intellectual disabilities and low-income seniors often have similar housing needs and preferences, and there is potential to create intergenerational supported housing solutions that meet the needs of both groups


The society researched various models of housing and developer collaborations that have worked throughout Canada, including Semiahmoo House and Chorus Community House in Surrey.

Society members have also created partnerships with B.C. Housing, Reach and Community Living B.C.

The new Delta report notes that ideas that emerged from community engagement were the inclusion of non‐market supportive housing units within a market housing building, and the creation of shared housing in existing single‐detached neighbourhoods, looking at a multi‐generational model.

It was felt that a rental building with a range of tenants young and old, but equipped with supportive services, equipped for aging in place, would be the ideal housing to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and older adults.

Shared housing models were also cited as one idea where a group of residents can receive social and emotional support, as well as assistance with their day‐to day activities, the report states.


A previous Delta report noted increasing housing options come with multiple benefits.

“People living with intellectual disabilities have long been excluded from community life, in large part due to segregated housing. Inclusive housing options should acknowledge and reflect the desire of those living with intellectual disabilities to be active participants in their communities and should be designed to support genuine and meaningful inclusion.”

The city received government funding to undertake the assessment which included community and stakeholder consultations last year.

The province this week announced it’s providing $1.7 million to help more communities collect and analyze data on their housing needs so they can deliver the right kind of homes.

The data will inform housing needs reports, which will identify community housing needs, such as affordable housing, rental housing, seniors' housing, as well as housing for people at risk of homelessness, families and people with special needs.




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