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.
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.
- Aug 2017: 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 2017: RFPP Phase 1 launches today! Thanks to all the planning & preparation work by our dedicated partners!
- Sept 2017: Connect with us on social media for project updates & discussion! We’re on Facebook and Twitter
- Fall 2017: Read about The Right Fit Pilot Project in the Fall issue of DABC’s Transition magazine.
- October 2017: Download & use our Wheelchair Accessibility Checklist. It provides common standards for describing housing accessibility features to help housing providers and applicants match needs to availability.
- October 2017: Connect with us at CHF-BC’s Fall Education Event, Oct. 28 in Richmond, BC to learn more about how RFPP can help match housing needs & availability.
- November 2017: We’re presenting at BCNPHA’s Housing Central Conference Nov. 20. Download our presentation (PDF)
- December 2017: Read how the BC government is supporting The Right Fit Pilot Project and other accessibility initiatives in the 2017 Progress Update
- December 2017: Listen to us discussing the need for RFPP on a special edition of CBC Radio’s The Early Edition co-hosted by Rick Cluff and Rick Hansen.
- January 2018: Got questions about RFPP? Check out our new FAQs. Let us know if your question isn’t covered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- March 2018: Hard to believe it’s been a year already! Here is an overview of what we’ve done and lessons learned from our first year.
- April 2018: Our navigator team lead Paul Gauthier discusses community supports for independent living on Soapbox Radio (interview starts about 15 minutes in). Listen: Audio archive
- May 2018: We’ve launched a quarterly newsletter! Read it here and subscribe to our mailing list below if you want to receive future editions.
- May 2018: Thanks to our generous funders at the Vancouver Foundation for featuring The Right Fit Pilot Project in their 2018 Magazine (Page 5)
- May/June 2018: RFPP joins the Province of BC and Canada to celebrate AccessAbility Week! Kudos to our navigator team and housing partners, who have now completed two successful placements for wheelchair users who need affordable housing, with a third on track to move in June 1! Limited supply of accessible subsidized housing and extremely low turnover of these prized units is our biggest barrier to access!
- June 2018: RFPP hosts an Accessible Housing Roundtable to seek community guidance on Year 2-3 priorities for our pilot (Stay tuned for our Roundtable Report)
- July 2018: RFPP is one of the novel approaches being tested across Canada to tackle homelessness and affordable housing. Learn more at the Community Workspace & Innovation Station at The Homeless Hub
- August 2018: Partnerships with providers of affordable and accessible housing are key to the success of our pilot project. Find out how housing providers can help us ensure that wheelchair users are able to find and access housing that’s the right fit for their needs.
- September 2018: Read about The Right Fit and other affordable housing solutions for people with disabilities in the Fall 2018 issue of DABC’s Transition Magazine.
- October 2018: In June, we hosted partners and community leaders to discuss lessons to date and priorities for further work. This excellent dialogue provided important insights and guidance for our ongoing work, as summarized in our Roundtable Report.
- October 2018: On Oct. 20, BC elects municipal leaders who hold the key to fixing local housing challenges. Great time to read & share this excellent, made-in-BC toolkit on building accessible, inclusive communities for people of all ages and abilities.
- November 2018: RFPP joined BC People First for a workshop on inclusive housing at Housing Central, BC’s premier annual forum on affordable housing. Here’s the presentation shared by our navigator team lead, Paul Gauthier.
- January 2019: RFPP Celebrates 8! Our hard-working navigators have now helped 8 wheelchair users find an affordable accessible home in Metro Vancouver that was the right fit for their needs. They’re also learning lots about about the systemic barriers in their way. Read more.
Executive Director & Navigator,
Individualized Funding Resource Centre
Phone: 604 777 7576
Dawn Steele, RFPP Coordinator,
Disability Alliance BC