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About The Housing Solutions Lab

The Housing Solutions Lab focuses in on one specific area of opportunity to create more housing units and benefit communities. The target is older adults who live alone or with one other person in a single-detached home who may consider solutions like home sharing or creating a secondary suite or coach house.

Housing options such as home sharing, secondary suites and coach houses have excellent potential to offer scalable solutions to three urgent and critical challenges: housing supply and affordability, carbon emissions and older adults’ health.

The lab aims to better understand opportunities and barriers and to design solutions for older adults living in single-detached homes who are interested in home sharing or creating secondary suites or coach houses.

A group of people sitting in a circle exchanging dialogue

Project Timeline & Deliverables

Project Team

Leanne Sawatzky

SFU Renewable Cities
Executive Director (Interim)

Rebekah Parker

SFU Renewable Cities
Project Manager

Joy Hayden

Hollyburn Community Services Society
Director of Innovation and Engagement

Susan Wilcockson

Hollyburn Community Services Society
Program Manager, Specialized Victim Support & Seniors Housing

Advisory Board

Ashley Grewal

Vancity Credit Union
Manager, Community Investment Operations

Margaret Coates

Lionsview Seniors’ Planning Society
Coordinator/Executive Director

Barry Goodwin

Lionsview Seniors’ Planning Society Board
Metro Vancouver Alliance Strategy Team

Cindy Moran

BC Housing
Senior Researcher, Technical Research and Education

Kendra Taylor

City of North Vancouver
Planner, MCIP, RPP

Alison Silgardo

Seniors Society of BC
Chief Executive Officer

Thank You For Your Support!

Thank you to the staff, volunteers, engagement participants and organizations who spoke with us during the lab. Your time and effort have been invaluable to shaping the Housing Solutions Lab.

Special thanks to:

        • SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, specifically: Elodie Jacquet, Nicole Armos and Nav Purewall for support with workshop and survey design, and the communications team for sharing materials 
        • Vancity staff for reviewing our cost benefit report 
        • Sue Lantz and Michael Geller for reviewing our final report
        • Leya Eguchi for her unwavering support in the early phases of this lab 

Conversations and support from the following organizations have helped inform our thinking and proposed solutions for this lab. Thank you! 

        • Building Resilient Neighbourhoods  
        • City of Edmonton Secondary Suites Program 
        • City of North Vancouver 
        • Canada HomeShare 
        • Co-Housing B.C. 
        • District of North Vancouver 
        • District of West Vancouver 
        • Hey Neighbour Collective 
        • Homeowners who attended our workshops 
        • Harvest Project 
        • Lanefab 
        • North Shore Community Housing Action Committee 
        • North Shore Community Resources 
        • North Shore Disability Coalition 
        • North Shore Seniors Coalition 
        • North Shore Navigators 
        • SFU Gerontology 
        • Silver Harbour Seniors’ Activity Centre 
        • Small Housing BC 
        • Strong Towns/Deltans for People-Oriented Places 
        • Synthesis Design 
        • The Atrium on Parkgate and Ambleview Place Co-ops  
        • Thompson River University Homestay Program 
        • Vancouver Coastal Health 
        • West Vancouver Positive Voices 

Media Coverage

Check out these mentions of the Housing Solutions Lab in the news:  

About SFU Renewable Cities

SFU Renewable Cities led the development of the Housing Solutions Lab. They focus on helping cities and communities transition toward smart urban land use, reduced transportation emissions and integrated housing solutions. Their mission is to accelerate the transition to renewable, restorative and resilient cities through meaningful engagement, capacity building and convening. SFU Renewable Cities is a special initiative of the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. 

About Hollyburn Community Services Society

Hollyburn Community Services Society provides unique services in response to existing and emerging community social needs on the Vancouver’s North Shore. Their programs provide a range of support for youth, seniors and victims of relationship violence, family violence, sexualized assault and criminal harassment.