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Engagement Workshops

Workshop delivery and design:

The Housing Solutions Lab engaged older adult homeowners, service providers, municipal staff, elected officials and community members through a series of workshops and a public open house.  

Each successive engagement built on information from participants and their perspectives on these proposed options – home sharing, secondary suites and coach/laneway houses – and their housing situations. 

Check out what we covered in each workshop – you are welcome to use the questions in your own work 

Published by Renewable Cities at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, these materials are offered under the Creative Commons License, enabling free sharing and reprinting for non-profit purposes.

“[A program like this] needs to be hyped [up]: people need to hear about it. [Someone needs to share how it is a] great reason for seniors to take this opportunity on and they can share back.”

Explore the process design/facilitation plan of each engagement workshop below:

  • The objective of the North Shore Homeowners Workshop was to deepen our organization’s understanding of:
        • Challenges faced by older single family homeowners
        • ‘What it might take’ for home options to be feasible
        • Offer a space for homeowners on the North Shore to connect with each other
  • Some questions that participants were asked included:
        • What values are important to you for your home?
        • What are your interests and needs for housing as you age?
        • What might it take for a housing option to become a viable option for you? 
        • What are you most excited about for the future of your housing on the North Shore?

Download the full process design for the Homeowners workshop below:

  • The objective of the Understanding Our Context Workshop was to deepen the understanding of:
        • Older single family homeowners and the programmatic support that would compel them to have a secondary suite or a home share
        • The roles diverse service providers could play in creating a successful secondary suite and home share program with older solo and couple single family homeowners
  • Some questions that participants (service providers) were asked included:
        • What are some things that exist on the North Shore right now that can help support this program? 
        • What would compel/enable people in various contexts to take action/take up a solutions/program such as this? 
        • What might it take to move from where we are, to building and implementing a successful program? What might it take to get us there (what are the barriers?)
        • What service providers might play a role in creating a successful program (inspired by this model) and what might they do? 

Download the full process design for the Understanding Our Context Workshop below:

This workshop series included two engagement sessions:  a co-design workshop for homeowners and a co-design workshop for service providers. We conducted separate workshops and produced one What We Heard Report for this phase.

Exploring Our Future Co-Design Workshop
(for homeowners)

  • The objective of the Co-Design Workshop for homeowners was to:
        • To identify what people require to say yes to housing solutions prototypes
        • Barriers to adopting these types of housing options
        • Design solutions
        • Prime a pilot matchmaking program
  • Some questions that participants (homeowners) were asked included:
        • What is one hope and one concern about housing on the North Shore?
        • What could your community look like in 2 to 3 years’ time if we succeed with these housing options?
        • What could your home look like?
        • What are some specific solutions for home sharing or secondary suite renovation that you would say yes to?

Download the full process design for the Co-Design Workshop for homeowners below:

Exploring Our Future Co-Design Workshop
(for service providers)

  • The objective of the Co-Design Workshop for service providers was to:
        • Identify how these programs can add value to the work of service providers and contribute to desiloing and make some preliminary commitments to first steps
        • Co-design initial prototypes of options for program-based home sharing and secondary suites
        • Identify must-have’s for a prototype to be successful
        • Build connections with each other
  • Some questions that participants (service providers) were asked included:
        • What minimum specifications are needed to make these potential housing option prototypes (home sharing program or creating secondary suites) possible?
        • What challenges are you thinking about when it comes to developing these prototypes?
        • What is one commitment you can share as we think about next steps in this process?

Download the full process design for the Co-Design Workshop for service providers below:

  • The objective of the Open House was to:
        • Receive feedback on draft prototypes, refine ideas, get a sense of community support levels for these options 
        • Allow North Shore residents to engage in cost/benefit analysis activity (how do we make decisions/decide what is most important)? 
        • Present and solicit feedback on homeowner personas
        • Provide educational pieces (North Shore context), allow people to respond to the data we’ve collected, and share thoughts, what’s missing? 
        • Raise interest and enthusiasm among North Shore residents (especially older adults over age 55) about housing options 

The Open House had four stations. Some of the questions asked to participants at each station are below: 

Station 1: North Shore Context

        • After exploring some housing statistics from the North Shore, do these statistics match what you’ve experienced on the North Shore?
        • Do these statistics raise any concerns for you?

Station 2: Housing Solutions Lab Prototypes

        • After exploring some of the proposed housing options and potential matchmaking program, do any of these housing solutions interest you?
        • What would you need to consider creating or renting one of these types of units? 
        • What would it take for you to say yes to joining a program like this as a renter or homeowner? 

Station 3: Cost-Benefit Analysis

        • After exploring some of the social, community, environmental and financial costs and benefits associated with each type of housing options, what factors are most important to you when you consider housing options like these?
        • How interested are you in sharing a space with another person? (e.g., how would you feel about sharing a kitchen?) 

Station 4: Fostering Connections

        • After exploring growing issues like social isolation and how neighbourhoods can connect, what makes you feel connected in your neighbourhood?
        • What would you like to see in your neighbourhood 
        • Are there examples like this that already exist in your area or other neighbourhoods you’ve visited? 

Download the full process design for the Open House below:

For more detail on what participants said at these engagement workshops, check out the what we heard reports from each workshop and open house below: 

For more detail on the What We Heard Reports, including a breakdown of common themes, concerns and possible solutions suggested by participants, visit the What We Heard Reports page.

a neighbourhood made up of single-detached houses