Housing Alternatives

Housing Alternatives2017-11-09T14:36:36+00:00


City of Hamilton's Housing Options for Older Adults in Hamilton

City of Hamilton
Housing Options for Older Adults in Hamilton

Prepared by The Senior’s Advisory Committee

This resource guide provides important information about housing and housing alternatives such as “Home Sharing”, for seniors in Hamilton, Ontario. It is meant to help you to stay in your own home as long you are able, then, as circumstances change, help you to gather as much information as possible to help you better understand your options and assist you with decisions about your housing.

Some of the contents:

  • Co-housing
  • Co-operative housing
  • Emergency housing
  • Garden suites
  • Home sharing
  • Life lease housing
  • Renovating – staying in your current home
  • Tips to keep your home safe

To view the brochure, visit this link or click on the image of the Housing Options.

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Home Share Canada

Home Share Canada

HomeSharing is a viable housing alternative for those who want to remain in their home and are willing to share some common spaces like living, dining, kitchen and laundry. Each Home Share is negotiated to support the needs of both the home sharer and the home seeker. This model of living also offers older home owners relief from social isolation and the benefits of interdependence and mutual support.

Of the programs in Ontario, some are for-profit and some are a combination of government and volunteer led.

Home Share’s purpose is twofold:

  • To increase the options for older and Vulnerable Sector people to remain at home with independence and dignity, while fostering intergenerational / interpersonal understanding.
  • To provide an affordable housing option for Home Seekers

The HomeShare program is founded on the belief that Older and Vulnerable Sector people have a right to remain in their own home should they wish to do so, living with as much autonomy and independence as they wish, and the community’s service system should assist them to achieve this.

HomeShare programmes are diverse in terms of how they operate. Some are run by charities or other not-for-profit agencies, while others are businesses.

Homesharing for older people

Many older people live alone. They may find that family and friends are too far away to give the help, companionship and security they need. Some may find it a struggle to maintain their independence at home, yet do not want to move into alternative accommodation such as a care home. Even if they can survive alone, they may want a better quality of life in their own homes. Perhaps they need some additional income; perhaps they just want someone to share their lives.

The needs of older people vary, but some of the most common include:

  • help with household tasks such as cooking, shopping, cleaning, gardening, and caring for pets
  • companionship and friendship
  • personal care – for those who are more dependent
  • security – for example having someone in the house at night
  • an additional source of income

Homeshare protects the autonomy of older people. It builds self-esteem by reminding older people how much they have to give. And, given that most homesharers are younger people, it develops respect, empathy, and understanding between the generations.

Because each Homeshare match is unique and personal to those involved, there are often hidden benefits where both parties gain much more than they expected.

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Halton HomeShare

Halton HomeShare Program

The Halton HomeShare Program is a partnership between Halton Region, Halton Housing Help, and Burlington Age-Friendly Council. Currently being offered throughout Halton, this program works to match older adults with renters who can help with household responsibilities. Halton Housing Help screens applicants and provides follow-up monitoring services.

They also offer the HomeShare Toolkit which you can use either on your own or with the help of a family member or friend to negotiate homesharing.

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Abbeyfield Canada Housing

Abbeyfield Canada Small Assisted Living Homes

Abbeyfield is an Aging in Community model that offers private bedsitting rooms communal spaces for dining and visiting. There is a “House Coordinator” who maintains the house and cooks two hot meals a day (breakfast is self-serve). Housing alternatives like Abbeyfield strengthen social connections and encourage mutual support between the residents. The costs are relatively low due to the volunteers who contribute their time to the running and upkeep of the homes.

Hamilton does not yet have an Abbeyfield house; however, there are homes in nearby Durham, Caledon and Toronto which can be visited. The homes list their vacancies on the website along with amenities and costs.

Abbeyfield Houses Society of Canada was established in 1984. The first House in Sidney, BC, was established in 1987. There are currently 40 Canadian Societies and 25 Houses operating or under construction.

The Abbeyfield concept is very simple. Typically, up to fourteen residents of retirement age live in their own private bed-sitting rooms furnished with their own things. The residents share lunch and dinner, plus a self-serve breakfast from a well-stocked breakfast bar. Snacks and drinks are also available throughout the day. A House Coordinator attends to the daily running of the house, the shopping and the preparation and serving of meals. Privacy and independence are preserved yet the gentle supportive domestic atmosphere provides companionship and freedom from worries and chores. Tel: 905.864.0100

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Abbeyfield Toronto

Abbeyfield Toronto

Lakeside House was built in 1991 by Abbeyfield Houses Society of Toronto.

The House is located in the lovely Toronto Hunt Club residential neighbourhood, on a quiet tree-lined street, near the intersection of Warden Avenue and Kingston Road. It is a short walk from the frequent bus service along Kingston Road and steps to a spectacular view of Lake Ontario. The House accommodates ten residents. Each resident has a private, self-furnished bed-sitting room with a sink and shares a three piece bathroom with another resident. There is a full elevator that services all three floors and there is wheelchair accessibility throughout the house and to the garden. The House features a bright spacious living room and dining room, extensive gardens and a sunny patio.

Our House Coordinator, Mavienne Knowles, is responsible for the grocery shopping, preparing two delicious meals each day and also acts as the caretaker of the building. She provides a friendly and attentive sense of security. Residents have privacy and freedom to live an independent life in a caring and supportive environment with the companionship of others.

Lakeside House is a not-for-profit residence and receives a subsidy from the City of Toronto. As a result, our fee for rent and services is well below market value.

To arrange to visit Lakeside House or to obtain more information, please contact Bill Statten, President of Abbeyfield Houses of Toronto at 416 895 9877. Abbeyfield Houses of Toronto is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors that welcomes volunteers in a variety of roles, such as house maintenance, gardening, funding raising, marketing and Board Members.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at 416 895 9877.

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Co-operative Housing

The Golden Horseshoe Co-operative Housing Federation

What is a housing co-op and is it for you?

Housing Co-ops have long been a favourite housing alternative for older Canadians. It offers social connection, security, interdependence and mutual support. Many are age-friendly; the management is often led by seniors.

Anyone can apply to live in a housing co-op. People of all backgrounds and cultures help to maintain the diversity often found in co-ops. Most co-ops have no maximum or minimum income levels to qualify. Co-ops can usually accommodate people with physical disabilities and special needs.

From the outside, a housing co-op looks like any other apartment building or townhouse development. However, a housing co-op is different.

Most co-ops have a waiting list of people who would like to move into the co-op. These lists are usually divided into two categories; people who can pay the full or “market” rent, and people who will need a subsidy.

Subsidy (or rent supplement) is money that the government pays to help lower the rents for people with low incomes. Each co-op has an agreement with the government that outlines the amount of money available and who can qualify.

Co-ops are controlled by their residents, who are members with a voice and a vote in decisions about their housing. There is no outside landlord. Co-op housing offers a home, not an investment. In a typical Canadian co-op, from one-quarter to three-quarters of households pay a reduced monthly charge, based on their income. The others pay the full monthly charge set when the members approve the co-op’s yearly operating budget. Housing co-ops operate as close to cost as possible. The full monthly housing charge rises only as the co-op’s costs increase.

The residents of a housing co-op are members of the co-operative corporation which owns the whole co-op. The co-op leases each unit to a member household. Members do not own their units.

To view a list of Housing Cooperatives in the Hamilton area, addresses and contact info, please click here.

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