The Right Fit Pilot Project

The Right Fit Pilot Project (RFPP) is a multi-partner effort to address challenges in matching affordable, wheelchair-accessible homes and independent living support services in Metro Vancouver with people who need them.

The issue: People with disabilities who use wheelchairs typically wait years for affordable, accessible housing. Key challenges include:

 

  • Limited availability of accessible, affordable housing.
  • Length of time to arrange for special equipment and support at a new home.
  • High demand means vacancies are often gone before supports are in place.
  • No centralized inventory of accessible units or standards for listing accessibility features.

The project: The 3-year Metro Vancouver pilot will address barriers and test streamlined models to connect wheelchair users with affordable housing that meets their needs.

The pilot will develop and test a case management model to help a rolling caseload of 20 wheelchair users find homes that fit their needs, along with personal supports needed to live independently. Project partners will work directly with applicants and with housing and service providers to learn more about systemic barriers.

Using a ground-up, collaborative approach, the project will develop advice on how to streamline processes to better match housing needs and support services. The pilot will focus on applicants seeking homes in Metro Vancouver, with supports from the two Health Authorities serving the region, but lessons learned will be shared more broadly.


Waiting for the right home

Susan was hospitalized due to complications of Multiple Sclerosis. During her long stay, she transitioned from a walker to a power wheelchair. She then transferred to a long-term care facility, where she shared a three-person room.Wanting to regain her independence, dignity and privacy, Susan spent two years searching for a suitable apartment. She eventually settled for a partially accessible unit where she is unable to access the bathroom.

This is her tradeoff: to regain some control over her life, Susan had to forego bathing, showering and conventional toileting.

__ Tom lives with a spinal cord injury from a cycling accident. His condition has deteriorated and he needs more hours of home support. He also wants to move from his current apartment to be closer to a new job opportunity.The move will mean transferring to a new health authority and having his home support needs re-assessed. But the re-assessment may take up to 3 months.

Tom is worried about moving and not having the supports he needs in a new apartment. But he also does not want to lose his employment opportunity.


A Partnership

RFPP is led by Disability Alliance BC in partnership with the Individualized Funding Resource Centre, BC Housing, City of Vancouver, Fraser Health Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority & the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction.

The project is generously funded by Vancouver Foundation &
BC Rehab Foundation.

More:

Updates:

  • Aug 24: Check out the Summer 2017 edition of Scoop, newsletter of the Co-Op Housing Federation of BC, for an article (Page 33) on how housing co-ops can support RFPP and help wheelchair users find a home that’s the right fit.
  • Aug 25: RFPP Phase 1 launches today! Thanks to all the planning & preparation work by our dedicated partners!
  • Aug 25: You can now download, share and use the latest version of our Wheelchair Accessibility Checklist. It provides a common standard for describing housing accessibility features to help applicants and housing providers quickly determine if a vacant unit will fit the applicant’s needs.

Contacts:

Paul Gauthier,
Executive Director & Navigator,
Individualized Funding Resource Centre
RightFit@IFRCSociety.org
Phone: 604 777 7576

Dawn Steele, RFPP Coordinator,
Disability Alliance BC
rfppcoordination@gmail.com