Living Together: Connecting housing, social well-being and resilience
2022, Cities, Community Building
Tuesday, June 7
9:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m.
In-person OR virtual
Eligible for 2.5 PIBC CPL units
No one is immune from loneliness or social isolation, but strong evidence shows that this crisis disproportionately affects lower-income households, seniors and people facing discrimination (not unlike socio-economic factors putting people more at risk of COVID-19). In recent years, younger people have also expressed worrisomely high rates of loneliness—often higher than seniors. For seniors, though—the demographic that receives the strongest attention from Canadian policymakers on this issue—the health consequences can be severe, often compounding other age-related vulnerabilities.
We all have a role to play in tackling loneliness and social isolation. The leadership that we need includes government policymakers and funders; municipal planners and health professionals; developers, architects and housing operators; non-profits, faith groups and businesses; researchers and consultants; and, of course, individuals.
Learn from a fantastic panel of Indigenous, local, national and international leaders and then join fellow participants—both online and in person—to learn from each other, find ideas for deepening your work and build a stronger collective voice.
Michelle Hoar, Project Director, Hey Neighbour Collective
What have Hiy̓ám̓ Housing leaders learned so far on their journey to providing new affordable housing that helps welcome more Squamish home? How will Hiy̓ám̓ Housing offer solutions to social isolation for residents, and how can Squamish culture be advanced within new buildings? What can non-Indigenous communities learn from this journey to improve opportunities for social connections and better relations within other homes and communities?
Hiy̓ám̓ ta Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Housing Society is a not-for-profit organization mandated to lead the development and management of affordable housing for the Squamish People and raise the standard of housing for the community. The organization is mandated to build on strong cultural practices and traditions of the Squamish Nation.
Sarah Silva is a proud member of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) with lineage on her mother and grandmother’s side and Scottish/German on her father’s. Indigenous and housing rights drive her career and values, believing everyone deserves a safe and affordable home to thrive and be healthy. She is also passionate about building diverse and sustainable communities, while respecting traditional practices.
Professionally, Sarah has extensive experience in the housing sector, leading teams and projects. Previously, she was the Manager of Housing Operations with the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA). AHMA is the first-of-its-kind not-for-profit Indigenous self-governing housing authority in Canada. In this senior role in the Indigenous non-profit housing sector, Sarah oversaw all provincially funded Indigenous off-reserve non-profit housing operations in B.C. In addition, she was responsible for funding delivery of 4,000 units and 35 programs, and managing the department and staff. Similarly, she sat on the executive leadership team and provided recommendations on strategic visioning and planning. Sarah’s most treasured work experience was as the Property Manager at the Squamish Nation, Business Revenue & Services Department.
Sarah is a certified property manager and has worked as a real estate agent on the North Shore for many years. She brings lived experience and expertise in Indigenous non-profit housing, real estate management, best practices, and leadership to the organization.
What are the roots of loneliness as a problem demanding civic action in Barcelona, giving rise to their 2020-2030 Municipal Strategy Against Loneliness? What were the key steps in crafting and launching this 10-year strategy? What impacts have they seen so far and what can Canadian municipalities learn?
Joan was elected to Barcelona City Council in 2020 as a Councillor in charge of the Children, Youth, the Elderly and People with Disabilities Office, the same year he presented the 2020-2030 Strategy Against Loneliness. His background includes 10 years of experience in publishing sector, degrees in Business Science at the University Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Business Management and Administration at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), and a postgraduate course in Public Policy at University of Barcelona (UB).
Ruth has been a consultant to the Department of Children, Youth, the Elderly and People with Disabilities since May 2022. As a graduate in podiatry, her experience includes 15 years in the private healthcare sector and a postgraduate degree in surgery from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). As for the public sector, her training includes a postgraduate degree in Public Policy and Social Risks at the University of Barcelona (UB) and she is currently pursuing a degree in Law at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).
Where are we at in Canada in terms of policy attention on loneliness and social isolation as it pertains to older adults? How do we compare internationally and what can we learn from other jurisdictions? Where are there strengths and gaps in Canadian policy approaches and how might we build upon efforts underway and perhaps expand beyond older adults to encompass all impacted Canadians?
From Happy Cities
Learning from community housing movements: Six principles for building happier homes – check out the first in this four-part series on learning from community housing, which digs into six key principles of ‘sociable design’ through three typical building space types: lobbies, circulation spaces, and amenity rooms.
From Vancouver Coastal Health
Heat check-in support framework for NGOs (PDF) – This new in-depth VCH resource on doing check-ins during extreme heat events can be used by non-professional people like neighbours, building managers and staff and volunteers at community organizations. Please check it out and share it widely.
Take (and share) the COVID-19 SPEAK survey – This survey from the BC Centre for Disease Control asks how the pandemic has affected you and your family and is intended to help inform interventions to help prevent further impacts on our social, economic, physical, and mental health, well-being, and resiliency.
From the Hey Neighbour Collective
Hey Neighbour Collective evidence backgrounder – This is the first in a series, focusing on the research around the importance of neighbourly social connectedness.
Developing Truly Complete Communities: Social equity, social connectedness and multi-unit housing in an age of public health and climate crises – A discussion paper produced as part of public consultations on Metro 2050, this region’s next growth strategy. In it are six key recommendations that could be relevant for any municipality that cares about these issues.
We are so pleased that you were able to join us – in person or by online video – for this series of conversations, and we hope you keep in touch and stay connected with us.