Working in collaboration with the University of Toronto Balance of Care Group and Snyder Architects, SHS Consulting developed content for an updated publication aimed at presenting information, through a web-based platform, to provide guidance to individuals living with dementia and their caregivers, and to operations and providers of housing for persons with dementia on how to: increase the safety of the home environment for people living with dementia and their caregivers; create a supportive home environment for persons living with dementia; and, highlight practical information and guidance for managing and designing housing for people living with dementia.
An extensive literature review was conducted as part of preparing the Guide.
In addition consultations were held with providers and operators of existing community-based housing for persons living with dementia across the country, with caregivers of persons living with dementia.
The SHS team was retained by the Region of Peel in 2017 to renew the Region’s 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan and to help meet the housing requirements related to the updated Provincial Growth Plan. The SHS and Peel teams set an ambitious plan to challenge current assumptions about housing services and the Region’s role in the local housing system. Through a design- and systems-led process, the SHS team facilitated four key components of work:
The study involved a dozen co-creation sessions with stakeholders from the Region, City of Mississauga, City of Brampton, and Town of Caledon, private sector developers, and local non-profit agencies and housing providers. Participants were led through foresight methods such as the Three Horizons model and trend scanning, prioritization and evaluation frameworks, and collaborative discussion spaces inspired by Liberating Structures methodologies.
The study resulted in a consolidated final report summarizing the findings of all four components and the details of a pilot program to encourage the development of affordable rental, affordable ownership, and market-rate rental housing in the Region. The report also included recommended Official Plan policies.
In 2017, the City of Toronto’s Shelter Services and Housing Administration (SSHA) set out to review the Toronto Housing Allowance Program to determine if Program objectives were being met and if changes should be recommended to make the Program more effective. The Housing Allowance Program offers a monthly allowance to individuals and households in Toronto who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. As housing program and evaluation specialists, the SHS team conducted three phases of work, which resulted in a final report outlining recommendations to improve program administration and certain elements in the experience of housing allowance recipients.
During phase one, a literature review was conducted to identify best practices in housing allowance programs in North America and Europe. Based on the literature review, we developed an evaluation and data collection strategy. As many program participants belonged to vulnerable population groups, SSHA and SHS worked in close collaboration to design a review process that ensured participants’ privacy was guaranteed, and all of the City’s questions were answered.
In phase two, program participant data was collected and reviewed. The City of Toronto provided a database with administrative program data. Based on the program data, a telephone survey of housing allowance recipients was conducted to better understand the experience of applying for and receiving the housing allowance.
Phase three involved undertaking focus groups with City staff, front-line staff, Provincial staff, and individuals who were currently receiving the housing allowance to fill the data and knowledge gaps.