Our advocacy is based on “Article 19” of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement;
Persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community;
Community services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs.
Housing options aimed at encouraging choice and independence for individuals with a disability can take many forms.
A separate living space in a family home
Owning an apartment or house
Renting an apartment or house
Renting a living space from an agency-managed residential unit such as a group home, supported independent living arrangement or home-share
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has a website that offers examples of affordable housing, such as social housing, types of home ownership models, and the granting programs available to groups or individuals who wish to create their own form of housing.
Any living arrangement should respect the rights of an individual to choose where and with whom they live. This right to choose can make exploring options a complex process, especially when bundled with the individual’s need for help in living independently.
Toolkits to help individuals identify what independent living means:
Developmental Services Ontario. Housing Toolkit
Ottawa Branch, Canadian Mental Health Association Condo Program Toolkit
The Lights program, supported by Community Living Toronto, uses an assessment tool for individuals and their support networks who are looking for independent living options in community.
Owning a home can be complicated and needs to be examined for on-going legal and financial impacts, such as: impacts on ODSP, legal decision-making, taxation, property management and on-going operational/maintenance costs, and sustainability of legal agreements.
Some forms of ownership include:
Home owned by individual with a disability
Joint ownership which could include individual with a disability
Home held in a testamentary (Henson) or inter-vivos (living) trust
Home owned by a small non-profit corporation such as an Aroha or Microboard
Home owned by a partnership or cooperative