Housing – Affordable for All

The OWN Housing Committee

The Committee’s overall objective is to formulate projects that will alleviate some of the many challenges faced by mid-life and older women in finding suitable affordable housing.

Current Activity

Breaking news from the OWN Housing Committee:
The OWN Housing Committee is working with a Toronto developer, beginning planning for a non-profit barrier-free rental building, with priority for OWN members.  You can help us by suggesting suitable sites.
Be sure to fill out our new survey for people who prefer to rent.

Living in Place and Universal Designproject. This campaign consists of presentations to builders, developers, politicians and the general public to help remedy the desperate shortage of accessible and barrier free housing. Universal Design housing excludes no one and is suitable for all ages and abilities. Please click on the link above, or the submenu item for more information, or to follow this campaign.

Toronto Affordable Housing Committee Presentation Report

The OWN Housing Committee gave a 5 minute presentation on June 20, 2016 at the Toronto City Hall, at the meeting of the Toronto Affordable Housing Committee. Committee members Ronny Yaron and Thea Kurdi, who is also a member of Association of Design Professionals for Accessibility, talked about OWN’s project to promote universal design in all new construction of multi-unit buildings.  They were first on the Agenda, and the presentation was a big success.
From Margret Jarvis:
“This morning OWN presented our ideas on 100% Visitable, Barrier Free and/or Universal Design multi-unit apartment buildings in Toronto.  Something that should have been started 20 years ago to housing our growing numbers of seniors.  I think the presentation was fantastic and several members of the City’s Housing Committee  asked good questions, and Mayor John Tory sat in on the presentation.  Our newest member, Thea Kurdi, an Architectural Accessibility and Universal Design Specialist, did a wonderful job of making this complicated topic sound like a “no brainer”.  Great job Thea!”
You can see the presentation here:  http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ah/bgrd/backgroundfile-94585.pdf

 OWN Housing Literacy Series – 2011 to 2013

In January 2011 we launched a free public lecture series designed to educate ourselves and others. This housing literacy series “What Really Works in Creating Affordable Housing?” features speakers on various types of affordable housing, from supportive housing to low-cost rental and ownership.

Sept. 18, 2013
Downsizing and Living Smarter Workshop
Speakers addressed living small, downsizing, hoarding and evictions.

Nov. 16, 2012
Abbeyfield: An Affordable Living Alternative for Seniors
Elizabeth Power, President of Abbeyfield Houses Society of Canada, gave us details on how they create small friendly seniors’ residences that provide both independent living and companionship.

Feb. 13, 2012
Building Seniors’ Life Lease Apartments
Deirdre Gibson explained how churches or communities finance, build and sell life lease apartments, keeping seniors in their own neighbourhoods.

Nov. 9, 2011
Opening of the YWCA Elm Centre
Heather McGregor, YWCA Toronto, discussed how the YWCA raised funding to build a 300-unit complex for women and girls.

May 17, 2011
Woodgreen Community Housing
Ulli Groppler explained how this large and highly respected nonprofit is able to manage 700 rental units, providing housing and services for over 1000.

Jan. 20, 2011
Options for Homes
Michael Labbé of Options, a developer and marketer of “cost-effective” condos, explained how they save money and provide access to additional financing.